Last updated: February 19. 2013 9:41PM - 281 Views

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DUPONT – Starting next week, recycling collection in Dupont Borough will get cleaner and quieter.

Pending completion this week of a fueling station at the borough building, the borough expects to put into service a new recycling packer truck run solely on compressed natural gas, which runs quieter and produces fewer emissions than a diesel-powered truck.

Through the reduced cost of fuel – less than $2 per diesel gallon equivalent for natural gas versus more than $4 per gallon of diesel – a slight gain in fuel efficiency and a reduction in maintenance costs, Dupont Council President Stanley Knick Jr. said he hopes the vehicle will save the borough money in the long run as well.

Knick said the savings should help the borough, which runs its own trash and recycling collection, keep fees for those services stable. Dupont residents pay about $50 for collection of 52 garbage bags per year plus recyclable materials.

The borough spent about $200,000 to purchase the recycling truck from Pocono Peterbilt of Bartonsville, plus an additional $7,650 to install a slow-fill refueling station. .

Most of those costs, $149,000, were paid with an alternative fuels grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Pocono Peterbilt sales representative Justin Morgan said programs like the alternative fuels grant and the recently opened natural gas vehicles grant program also coordinated by DEP have added economic incentives for municipalities to switch their fleet vehicles to natural gas.

Earlier this year, Plains Township purchased a compressed natural gas recycling truck with its own $149,000 alternative fuels grant.

Knick said he expects the Dupont's vehicle, which travels about 100 miles a week, to pay for itself through reduced fuel costs in a few years.

The addition of a slow-fill refueling station on borough property, which compresses gas from a utility line into the trucks fuel tanks at about 1 diesel-gallon equivalent per hour, also opens the door for future vehicle conversions, Knick said.

Putting this pump in, now we can look at other vehicles, Knick said. A police car; a dump truck; anything we look at right now, we'll look at natural gas.

The borough has already discussed specifications and estimates with Pocono Peterbilt for replacement of an additional packer truck used to haul non-recyclable waste with a natural gas vehicle and plans to apply for a new natural gas vehicle grant from DEP.

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