Renewable propane trash truck.

Seen on Raleigh Streets, Propane Powered Garbage Trucks!

Raleigh Parks has new garbage trucks. These are different from your run-of-the-mill, ordinary garbage trucks. These trucks are fueled with Renewable Propane. Renewable propane is a plant-based fuel made from vegetable oils and fats, and compared to fossil fuels, it produces far less greenhouse gas emissions.

The new trucks are 26,000 lb. medium-duty trucks with a combination of a 6-yard rear loader refuse body for picking up trash and a 2-yard side load body for picking up recycling in our City parks. 

The decision to have these trucks use renewable propane for the fuel source was a collaboration between the City’s Park, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and Vehicle Fleet Service, and we had input from the end users and our shop staff for capability and support. 

We wanted to follow a sustainable fuel model. We looked at the total use, type of use, GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), and fuel consumption of current garbage trucks of this design. We considered the availability of chassis in electric vehicles, natural gas, and propane and found propane to be the best solution for this type of truck.

The City has more renewable propane trucks on the way.

  • One more garbage truck.
  • One 16-foot refrigerator truck for Parks and Recreation delivering food donations.
  • Six flatbed dump trucks for Raleigh’s Transportation Department for leaf removal and street maintenance. All six trucks are replacing diesel-powered trucks that have a high carbon footprint.
  • Using renewable propane in City vehicles significantly reduces our demand for conventional fossil fuels. One more way the City is working to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. 

Fun Facts about Renewable Propane

  • Carbon Intensity (CI) is the amount of carbon by weight emitted per unit of energy consumed.
  • Traditional gas has a CI score of 86, whereas renewable propane has a CI score of 14-28.
  • Renewable propane is made from plant and vegetable oils, animal fats, or used cooking oil. 
  • When used as a transportation fuel, renewable propane can produce a negative CI value.
  •  Renewable propane averages $1.35 lower per gallon than gasoline.
  • Learn more about renewable propane by visiting the Propane Education and Education Research Council webpage.

For more information:

Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan

Clean Energy and Transportation Mural 

Vehicle Fleet Services named the number 1 Fleet in the nation



Rick D. Longobart 
Fleet Operations Manager

Lead Department:
Engineering ServicesParks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Vehicle Fleet Services