Waste company adds natural gas trucks to Houston fleet

HOUSTON — Recycling services in Houston have just become a little greener.

Arizona-based Republic Services, a solid waste and recycling titan, is adding 49 state-of-the-art compressed natural gas trucks to its Houston fleet, as it phases out its older diesel-powered trucks, the company announced Thursday.

“We are serious about reducing ozone-forming emissions whenever possible,” said Greg Rutherford, Houston area president of Republic Services. “We are excited to do our part to leave a cleaner and healthier community for future generations.”

Republic is part of a larger move to compressed natural gas for its trucks, as companies seek to benefit from fuel prices that can trim as much as two dollars for the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Waste Management also has moved many of its garbage trucks to natural gas, and FedEx is partnering in research on electric and hybrid alternatives.

Natural gas options also are starting to become available for individual drivers: Ford Motor Co. recently announced plans to offer a natural gas option for its 2014 F-150 pickup truck models.

Republic, which has a fleet of more than 1,400 natural gas vehicles nationwide, said the new trucks will nearly double the number of natural gas-fueled vehicles added in 2013 to its Houston fleet. The company has also installed two natural gas fuelling stations for the trucks in Houston, giving the vehicles more flexibility.