Choice Environmental launches CNG fleet for waste collection in Fort Lauderdale

Choice Environmental Services rolled out a new fleet of CNG compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse trucks, becoming the first private waste hauler in south Florida to abandon diesel fuel for a portion of its operations in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas.

The ten-truck fleet will reduce harmful emissions by over 25 percent compared to diesel-fueled trucks, according to company officials. The new trucks are also fully automated residential collection vehicles, with high compaction bodies that will reduce the number of trips they’ll need to make to the landfill. The Autocar chassis are equipped with Hercules ASL bodies supplied by E-Z Pack Manufacturing of Cynthiana, Kentucky.

The Autocar trucks feature Cummins Westbrook engines, designed for natural gas. The refuse bodies themselves are mounted with four natural gas fuel cells – two that are “saddle mounted” on the chassis frame and two additional fuel cells that are integrated into the body above and behind the hopper, in a unique configuration that does not increase the vehicle’s overall height.

E-Z Pack modified the ASL body with the additional fuel cells in direct response to Choice Environmental’s request for greater fuel capacity. The total CNG fuel capacity is equivalent to 60 gallons of diesel, which gives each truck the range of a typical diesel-fueled vehicle. At the end of a workday, operators return to the fueling station in Pompano Beach, where the trucks are automatically refueled and ready for work by the next morning.

The Hercules ASL features a high compaction body, a 6 cubic-yard hopper capable of handling containers up to 400 gallons, simple controls without computers or PLCs.

The natural gas used to produce CNG fuel onsite at the station is supplied by TECO Peoples Gas, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution company.