Customer Success Stories

New York City’s Department of Sanitation Cleans Up with CNG Trucks

Reducing Emissions

Winning Customers and City Support

Planting 11,400 Trees

Running Cleaner for the Community

8.5 million people produce a lot of trash. Just how much? Estimates by the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) put the amount at 10,000 to 12,000 tons per day. And the reason our country’s most populated city isn’t buried in garbage is because of the hard work and the operational advancements of DSNY.

It’s no surprise that DSNY, whose mission is to keep the city clean, would care deeply about managing environmental pollution. Operating over 5,700 vehicles, the DSNY leads the industry in testing the most environmentally friendly and reliable technologies to fuel their fleet. However, lengthy idle times, heavy payloads, space and weight constrictions make it very challenging to implement environmentally-friendly technologies for refuse trucks. After researching numerous options, DSNY began fueling a portion of their fleet with compressed natural gas (CNG) to measure and test the feasibility and environmental benefits of CNG fuel for the DSNY fleet. Offering a green fueling solution, CNG contributes to the team’s sustainability and operational goals by reducing the fleet’s carbon emissions and operational cost.

“About twenty years ago,” says Rocco  DiRico, Deputy Commissioner of  Support Services, “in an effort to clean up the air quality in New York City, we pioneered New York’s (and one of the nation’s) first CNG trucks in the Department of Sanitation.” A portion of its fleet of 2,300 refuse trucks is now running on reliable Clean Energy, American-made CNG.

Of course adding CNG trucks is something we would like to do says Rocco.  But, fueling and operating these trucks also has to be convenient and efficient. “The limiting factor today is infrastructure. New York City real estate is very difficult to come by,” says Rocco DiRico. Today, Clean Energy maintains one private CNG fueling station that is owned and operated by DSNY.  This is where we fuel our CNG-powered collection trucks and street sweepers. There are also three public Clean Energy stations serving the DSNY’s operations throughout NYC, with plans for more in development. As Rocco reports: “As we overcome those obstacles, with the help of Clean Energy, we will grow the CNG portion of the fleet further.” And this growth, of course, will benefit the entire New York City community.

“Reducing in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 450 metric tons every year”

What are those benefits? Besides quieter trucks and cost savings for DSNY (and of course, the taxpayers of the city), their reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is estimated at 450 metric tons. That’s similar to removing 96 cars off the road, recycling 159 tons of landfill waste, or planting 11,400 trees. Needless to say, DSNY’s use of CNG trucks has been welcomed and praised by New York City residents. Sanitation worker Joseph Grappone says: “The biggest complaint we get, especially working overnight, is about the noise, and with the CNG truck, we do not get that complaint.”

In addition to being happier about a noise reduction in their communities, residents understand the cost savings and emission reduction benefits, too. The universal support for this ongoing venture means the city management team and the people of New York are indeed on the same page when it comes to ensuring a cleaner, greener future for New York.