By Elsa Maxey
While other places are still planning for the transition to pollution-free, renewable energy sources and clean, petroleum-free transportation fuels, Sugar Land is already there with one of its major service providers. It recently announced that solid waste trucks serving those in the city now use compressed natural gas.
These natural gas trucks are operated by Republic Services and are reportedly having an immediate impact. In prepared statements, the city’s Assistant Director of Public Works Dawn Steph said, “The environmental benefits are significant, including reduced air emissions and noise pollution.” The city also said this is nearly 90 percent quieter than similar diesel truck models.
Perhaps one may have noticed the less intrusive sounding vehicles in the neighborhoods. The new vehicles have replaced diesel models and provide residents and businesses cleaner and quieter trash pick up operations.
Environmentalist organizations have focused on exploring renewable, clean, low carbon alternative fuels for the transportation sector. In particular, fuels intended to replace reliance on diesel in heavy-duty buses and trucks, the latter of which was the type formerly used by Republic Services. Those vehicles are reportedly among the heaviest fuel consumers, and they are also considered to be among the major sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. But with the compressed natural gas now used by the local solid waste trucks, there may be 23 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. For those in Sugar Land, that means cleaner air.