PA Town Buys NG-Powered Recycling Truck, Will Save $8K/Year

Plains Township, located near Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County, PA, has just become the first municipality in northeastern PA to purchase a recycling truck powered by Marcellus Shale natural gas. Plains has also installed a new natural gas filling station at the town garage.

Is there a natural gas-powered vehicle in your town’s future? With natural gas at $1.50 per gallon vs. diesel fuel at $4 per gallon, just maybe.

State Sen. John Yudichak and state Reps. Mike Carroll and Eddie Day Pashinski joined officials from Plains Township, the state Department of Environmental Protection and UGI Utilities Friday to unveil the new $181,811 green truck. The township purchased the truck with the help of a $149,000 grant from DEP.

UGI helped install a natural gas refilling station at the township’s Department of Public Works garage. The truck was filled Friday and picked up recyclables throughout the township.

With the price of natural gas at $1.50 a gallon compared to $4 a gallon for diesel fuel, Plains Township officials expect to see considerable savings on fuel. The truck will save taxpayers about $8,000 a year on fuel costs alone, Yudichak said. The availability of natural gas also allowed the township to convert the DPW garage heating system to natural gas, resulting in additional cost savings.

"This really is quite a day for Plains Township and Luzerne County," Yudichak said. "We’ve been hearing a lot about the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania over the last three years but we haven’t seen in it translated into our communities in Luzerne County. Today, you see it."*

*Wilkes-Barre The Citizens’ Voice (Jan 21, 2012) – Plains Twp. acquires Marcellus-fueled recycling truck