Nation’s first ‘near-zero’ refuse truck goes to work in Long Beach, Calif.

It’s 20170501 A Day1 0806nice being first.

The City of Long Beach, Calif. recently laid claim to the nation’s first refuse truck powered by the new Cummins Westport ISL G Near-Zero natural gas engine.

“Long Beach is working hard to improve the environment for our residents in every possible way,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I’m proud that we are again setting the pace with our fleet, this time with new technology that drastically cuts heavy truck emissions.”

The Cummins Westport ISL G Near-Zero engine achieves a nine percent reduction in greenhouse gases compared to the current standard ISL G engine, and is certified to a nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission standard that is 90 percent cleaner than the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NOx limit. The engine also emits 90 percent less particulate matter than a diesel powered version.

“We are committed to making the city fleet as sustainable as possible,” said Dan Berlenbach, fleet services bureau manager. “This is a huge step in reducing truck emissions that benefits everyone in Long Beach.”

The city’s new municipal refuse truck is the first of 23 identical near-zero emissions refuse trucks that will soon be coming to Long Beach. The remaining 22 new trucks will go into service in the next six months. Thirteen of the 23 trucks will be partially funded by a grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

Long Beach runs an aggressive green fleet program. Fifty-two percent of its fuel used in 2016 was renewable. In the near future, the city will begin utilizing renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) in order to maximize the emissions reduction of this new technology engine.

The Long Beach fleet has been working towards cleaner transport since the 1970’s. It began with the purchase of 50 CNG Ford Rancheros for use at the Long Beach Gas Department. In the 1980’s, CNG police patrol cars were added to the fleet. In the 1990s, fleet integrated CNG refuse trucks; and in 2003, Long Beach became the first city in the U.S. to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its street sweepers.