Danville, VA - First Piedmont Waste Solutions in Danville is going green. They unveiled a new fleet of trucks that run on compressed natural gas Thursday.
The Southside company is producing a non-toxic emission that is not a threat to the soil or water.
The cost of their trucks is about 15% greater than a diesel truck. With the investment, however, the company hopes to get a big return, not only in costs but also for the environment.
The trucks may look red but inside they're all green.
"It's the next generation of trucks," said Ben Davenport, Chairman of First Piedmont.
First Piedmont Waste Solutions rolled out a new fleet of trucks that run on natural gas instead of diesel.
"We just think it's the right thing to do, it's clean fuel," said Tommy Stump, President and CEO of First Piedmont.
Stump says 18 months of planning made way for the six new trucks and a fueling station.
"The exhaust out of these trucks is somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% less emissions from the exhaust than a diesel engine," said Stump.
The changes come with a big price tag, though.
First Piedmont shelled out about $2 million in operation costs, and another $1.6 million for the trucks. But the company hopes the price of natural gas will stay low and allow them to make up the difference.
"Our thoughts are that diesel is not for a long long time probably going to come back down. The CNG certainly is cheaper on a diesel gallon equivalent," said Stump.
The compressed natural gas trucks not only help the environment," Delegate Danny Marshall said, pointing out the domestic fuel brings jobs to the area. "These dollars that you buy for fuel is staying here in the U.S."
In all, First Piedmont has about 75 trucks. They hope to eventually have their entire fleet made up of the newer green trucks.
"As we replace trucks, we retire older diesel trucks, we replace them with natural gas trucks," said Stump.
First Piedmont plans to put the trucks into service in the next two weeks. They say their trucks use 360,000 gallons of diesel a year, so the natural gas trucks should make a big difference to them.