Hammond's Clean-Burning Garbage Trucks

April 21, 2006

With gasoline topping $3 a gallon, motorists and municipal governments alike are feeling the pinch. One city thinks it may have found a way to save at the pump.

Some garbage trucks in Hammond, Ind., are using a fuel called Esterhol, made up of 100 percent vegetable oil. The company that makes the fuel says Esterhol is cleaner for the environment and, more importantly to Hammond officials, cheaper. Esterhol costs about $2.25 a gallon.

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott says a three month pilot program using Esterhol on a few garbage trucks proved successful.

"The vehicles operate very well using Esterhol. We are seeing some cost savings during this pilot program. About the only bad side effect we have is that when we burn this oil, it smells like french fries and the guys get real hungry," he says.

McDermott says the city plans to expand the program.