The City of Portage was recently recognized for its environmental efforts. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) awarded the Green Fleet Member of the Year Award to Portage Mayor Sue Lynch and Street Superintendent Randy Reeder at the Drive Clean Indiana Annual Conference in Michigan City. NIRPC bestowed the honor after Portage had made commitments toward acquiring city equipment that runs on alternative fuels. The city recently received the first of seven compressed natural-gas garbage trucks, which are nearly 90-percent paid for through grant money. The remaining six trucks will be delivered sometime in 2023. According to a press release, the city is applying for a second round of grants in order to construct a fueling station at the street department, provide additional alternative-fuel infrastructure, and to acquire ten additional pieces of equipment. Reeder said the pursuit of CNG-powered vehicles for the sanitation department is not only better for the environment by cutting emissions but is more cost effective for the city.
The specifications for the new CNG-powered trucks were developed by the sanitation department employees, who even choose the bright green color. “The road to success is never traveled alone,” said Reeder, who thanked Mayor Lynch, the City of Hobart, Crowley Engineering, grant writer Ryan Lysak, Ozinga Energy and Best Equipment for their support and assistance in pursuing the grants and equipment.