Over the next decade, Council Bluffs residents will notice a few new features on the trash collection trucks.
They will be quieter and run cleaner because they'll be fueled by compressed natural gas.
The City Council Monday evening unanimously approved an extension of another five years to the city's current five-year contract with Red River Waste Solutions for local trash collection. The extension will allow the company time to replace 10 current diesel trucks with trucks using compressed natural gas.
The request came from Public Health Department Director Donn Dierks, who oversees the city trash collection operation.
“From an environmental aspect, compressed natural gas burns much cleaner and runs cheaper than diesel,” Dierks said. “It's more cost-effective over a five- or six-year period in fuel savings.”
It currently costs Red River's trucks about $3.87 a gallon using diesel fuel, while compressed natural gas is less than $2 a gallon, Dierks said.
Red River, with its main headquarters in Texas, was chosen to be the city's trash collection company in 2008 with a five-year contract. Earlier this year, the council agreed to extend that contract for another five years, which began this past July 1.
On Monday, Dierks requested the council extend this contract five years beyond that, meaning it would expire in 2023. This would give time for the company to replace current trucks when necessary with those with the new engines. Right now, the plan calls for three new truck next year, three more the following year and four in 2016. The current contract fee per resident would stay the same, Dierks said.
“It's not costing the city any more,” Dierks said.