New KC street sweepers save money, decrease environmental impact

KANSAS CITY, Mo - Kansas City is using new environment-friendly and cost efficient sweepers to keep the streets clean.

"It's our job trying to keep the street clean and we're doing the best we can, we're trying to do better," Samuel Wigfall Jr., one of the drivers.  For the last 16 years, Wigfall Jr . has had the monumental task of keeping the Kansas City streets clean.

"Well, I've had people come up and ask me where did we get these from and I said that we're trying these new sweepers now," he said.

The city now has eight street sweepers that run on compressed natural gas (CNG).  Since they started using the new vehicles this past August, the city said they've saved at least 50 percent on fuel costs. CNG costs just more than a dollar per gallon which is much less than the nearly four dollars for diesel.

Compressed natural gas also means lower emissions that make the street sweepers environmentally friendly.

"We've got a scheduled route and stick with it," said supervisor Alvin Frazier.

He said it takes less time to prep these trucks than the old diesel ones, so they to hit the streets quicker, which is a  positive when the city has to cover 16,000 gutter miles. That's equivalent to three round-trip drives  from New York to Los Angeles.

"As far as the sweeping and the picking up, it does a good job," Wigfall said.

The eight new street sweepers will be on the roads Tuesday through Friday.

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