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Republic Services invests $25 million in collection trucks

Republic Services is investing nearly $25 million to enhance its fleet with 72 compressed natural gas (CNG) collection vehicles.

This move brings the company’s investment in sustainable operation in the St. Louis area to nearly $45 million this year. In May, the company announced a $19 million investment in its two area recycling centers that will effectively triple Republic Services’ recycling capacity in St. Louis.

The new CNG vehicles will replace older diesel models and provide a cleaner and quieter collection experience for residents and businesses in the St. Louis area. Natural gas produces 23 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel fuel, which means cleaner air for the St. Louis community. Vehicles utilizing CNG also are nearly 90 percent quieter than similar diesel models.

With a fleet of 72 new CNG vehicles, Republic will operate one of the largest CNG fleets in the St. Louis area, along with AT&T and the St. Louis Airport Authority.

“While there is a significant upfront financial commitment involved in our switch to compressed natural gas, the long-term environmental and economic benefits merit the change,” said Tim Trost, area president, Republic Services. “By investing in a domestically produced, cost-effective fuel source, each CNG vehicle’s emissions will be reduced by up to 23 percent compared to its diesel counterparts.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 80 to 90 percent of the natural gas used in the United States in recent years was domestically produced.

Republic Services is planning to continue to build its alternative-fuel fleet and expects to operate nearly 80 CNG-fueled trucks in the St. Louis area by the end of 2012. The investment is driven by the company’s continuous effort to incorporate practices into its operations that are both economically and environmentally sustainable.

On a nationwide basis, Republic renewed its commitment to improving the environment in 2012 by dedicating 68 percent of its new truck purchases to natural gas vehicles. At its current rate of conversion, Republic plans to have more than 3,100 trucks nationwide running on natural gas and other alternative fuels by the end of 2015.