Sustainable resource management would not be possible without safe and reliable collection service. Our collection operations consist of over 500 front-line vehicles and 47 transfer stations located from northern Maine to western New York.
Since 2015, we have been executing a five-year fleet plan to modernize and standardize our fleet to improve our productivity and efficiency.
Each investment in our fleet is an investment in our people, our service, and the environment. By equipping our hard-working drivers and technicians with great equipment, we improve the quality of their day-to-day experience and enable them to better service customers. And because newer vehicle models have better emission controls, these investments benefit air quality too.
CNG: Our fleet includes 37 refuse and recycling trucks that run on compressed natural gas (CNG), which has a lower carbon footprint and cleaner emission profile than diesel fuel. Since we bought our first CNG truck in 2010, we have displaced over 2 million gallons of diesel fuel with cleaner burning CNG.
Most of our CNG trucks have 9-liter engines. Their limited power and excessive maintenance costs have prevented wide-scale roll-out. We have begun trialling trucks with 12-liter engines. Preliminary results suggest that they may meet our performance needs and enable us to grow our CNG fleet in the coming years.
Biodiesel: We have also had some success with biodiesel Our hauling division in Portland, Maine runs on a blend of locally-produced biodiesel. In 2017, the Portland fleet saved over 18,000 gallons of diesel fuel by using biodiesel.
Electric Vehicles: Over the years we have experimented with electric vehicles. Because we operate in rural areas, we need vehicles that can cover long distances between fueling or charging. This has been an important limiting factor for electric vehicles in our fleet, but we believe the technology is improving and we are working with our vendors to conduct additional pilots this year.
The simplest way to save fuel is to drive less. We need to do more work while logging fewer miles. In 2017 and 2018, our route supervisors attended training on efficient routing principles and practices. As part of our broader strategic goal to improve the profitability of our collection operations, each division is focused on improving the efficiency and productivity of their routes.
We are working to better understand the emission impact of our fleet investments and productivity initiatives. To help us do this, we plan to join the EPA SmartWay program in 2019.
This figure shows the recent evolution of our fleet. Heavy-duty diesel trucks manufactured in 2007 or later meet stringent emission standards for particulate matter and NOx. Vehicles that run on alternative fuels like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) have emission benefits too. The percentage of these cleaner trucks in our fleet is growing. Today, new diesel and CNG trucks make up more than 60% of the front-line vehicles in our fleet.