Burgmeier’s updating fleet of trash trucks

Burgmeier Hauling Inc. is another step closer to running a complete fleet of compressed natural gas trash trucks.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced that Burgmeier’s was awarded a $138,955 grant to help purchase six CNG trucks – part of $7.7 million in Act 13 funding to 25 companies and organizations making the switch to natural gas for their heavy-duty fleet vehicles.

“Act 13 not only strengthened oversight of the drilling industry, it allows us to continue growing jobs while cleaning the air at the same time,” Corbett said in a statement. “Natural gas, particularly from the shale formations here in Pennsylvania, is an abundant, affordable, domestic fuel that is putting this country on a path to energy independence.”

The Act also authorized the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop and implement the Natural Gas Energy Development program, funded by impact fees paid by natural gas operators. The program distributes up to $20 million in grants over three years, to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of heavy-duty natural gas fleet vehicles.

Last year Burgmeier Hauling received a $293,000 grant from DEP to help buy 12 CNG vehicles.

Burgmeier Hauling now has a fleet of 44 trucks – 12 CNG vehicles with the other six on order and expected to arrive by Oct. 1.

“Dave Burgmeier’s plan is to replace the fleet with CNG vehicles within three to five years. We are certainly on our way to doing that,” said vice president and controller Steve Kasun.

The Act 13 program reimburses you for 50 percent of the difference between the cost of a diesel truck and a CNG truck, which can range from $35,000 to $50,000 depending on the truck, Kasun said

“We are getting an average of $25,000 per truck under the program,” Kasun said.

The CNG vehicles are better for the environment and about 90 percent quieter. The use of CNG vehicles is also beneficial to customers as Burgmeier’s has dropped the fuel surcharge for its residential customers, Kasun said.

In July, Burgmeier’s opened a compressed natural gas filling station across from its Sixth Avenue Road headquarters to fill its trucks.

At the present time ,the filling station serves only Burgmeier trucks but could serve others eventually if there is enough demand, Kasun said.

Meanwhile, another compressed natural gas filling station soon will be up and running.

AR Natural Gas Fueling Systems of Altoona plans to open a compressed natural gas filling station on property owned by Imler’s Poultry along Route 764 near Duncansville.

Partner Aaron Ritchey said he had hoped to have it up and running in the first quarter of 2013 but ran into problems with permitting and severe weather. He now said he hopes to have it up and running in 30 to 45 days.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.