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The garbage hauler has about 30 trucks on the road, half of which run on compressed natural gas

COURTESY OF PRIDE DISPOSAL COMPANY - Heres what one of about 30 natural gas garbage trucks looks like. Pride is in the process of transforming all their vehicles to run on natural gas, which burns cleaner.

Pride Disposal Company is one of the latest businesses to sign up for Oregon's Clean Fuels Program, capitalizing on its clean fleet of trucks.

"Changing to trucks that run on natural gas made a lot of sense for our business," said Mike Leichner, president of Sherwood-based Pride Disposal Company.

"The price of diesel is unpredictable, while natural gas has been steady and low. And it makes a big difference for what's coming out of the tailpipe. There's a lot less pollution and particulates from the new trucks."

Pride Disposal has about 30 trucks on the road at any given time and about half the fleet now runs on compressed natural gas. The company began the transition in 2010. As the time comes to retired older trucks, the company replaces them with the cleaner-burning CNG-powered trucks.

"Depending on our schedule, we might replace two or three trucks a year," said Leichner. "The drivers like them. The air is cleaner and the trucks are quieter. We have customers tell us 'I don't even hear the truck coming anymore!'."

Under the Clean Fuels Standard, Pride Disposal will generate credits for using natural gas instead of petroleum diesel. Oil companies will need to buy those credits from Pride and others in order to meet the state's new standard for clean fuels. It will be a money-maker for any business that is generating credits.

"As a business you're always trying to balance economics, environment and ethics — what's the right thing to do?" said Leichner. COURTESY OF PRIDE DISPOSAL COMPANY - Mike Leichner, president of Sherwood-based Pride Disposal Company, said changing out company vehicles to natural gas makes sense since the price of diesel is unpredictable."This move for us to the cleaner fuel, all of those factored into the equation. For the community, our customers, the air is cleaner too."

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates compressed natural gas reduces particulate matter emissions by 86 percent, carbon monoxide by 80 percent, nitrogen oxide by up to 32 percent, and greenhouse emissions by 25 percent, over traditional diesel trucks.

"There's increasing regulation on diesel to clean up the air. I could see where that was headed. Taken all together, it made sense for us," said Leichner. "There's something to be said for having our fuel source be more local, too." 

Pride Disposal Company is a family-owned business that has served the Sherwood, Tigard, and Washington County areas since 1986.

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