Cleaning Up the Air Around the Acropolis with CNG Garbage Trucks


Photo: Daimler
Athens Orders 108 Compressed Natural Gas Trucks from Daimler
Much fewer vehicles on the road. Powered by clean energy. Zero-tailpipe emissions. Manufactured using cradle-to-cradle principles. That's what we really need.

But since it's unlikely that we'll wake up one morning to find out that we've gone from where we are now to there, we have to welcome incremental changes too (even as we keep pushing for things to improve faster). One of those incremental changes is the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) to replace gasoline or diesel; after all, a reduction of particulate matter (PM) of 90% and a reduction of CO2 emissions of 25% (unless you use captured biogas, which brings it to about 100%) is substantial.That's what the city of Athens, Greece, seems to have realized. They have ordered 108 Mercedes-Benz Econic natural gas vehicles to use for trash collection. On top of the PM and CO2 reduction mentioned above, the Econic "fulfils the stringent EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) emission standard, which is stricter than the current Euro 5 emission standard."

It is also much quieter than a diesel truck, which is important since garbage collection takes place in residential areas.

We hope that Athens will run the trucks on biogas (captured from the landfill where the trucks go, perhaps?). Or maybe look at hybrid trucks the next time it buys new vehicles, since regenerative braking would be quite useful on a truck that constantly accelerates and decelerates.

But let's not forget that the trucks are a symptom. If we reduced the amount of trash we produce, we'd need fewer trucks in the first place...

Via Daimler, Green Car Congress
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Tags: Air Pollution | Transportation

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