Third of fleet powered by “trash gas” (biomethane)
Waste Management (WM) has grown its natural gas powered truck fleet to 1000, making it the largest owner and operator of clean-running, heavy duty refuse trucks in North America. At a ceremony at its Carson property in California, the company commemorated the delivery of its 1000th natural gas vehicle with Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster starting up the new recycling truck that will serve his city’s residents. The natural gas fleet is part of the company’s environmental sustainability initiative to direct capital spending of up to $500 million per annum over a 10-year period to reduce its fleet emissions.
“This is a special milestone in our journey to develop the cleanest fleet of heavy duty trucks in our industry,” said Duane Woods, senior vice president at WM. “We are pleased that we have so many natural gas trucks now in service, particularly in Southern California where clean air is such a critical issue.”
The trucks WM runs out of its Carson service yard – as well as a third of its California clean fleet — are powered by liquefied biomethane derived from the decomposition of organic waste in its Altamont Landfill in Livermore, Calif. Since November 2009, the landfill has been generating as much as 13,000 gallons of LNG per day, a virtually zero-carbon transportation fuel.
In just one year, these 1000 natural gas trucks will displace eight million gallons of petroleum and eliminate 45,100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, while attending the opening of the Altamont LNG plant, stated, “I’m pleased to celebrate the opening of this new facility that’s quite literally turning trash into fuel, and helping us reach our environmental goals by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and creating a healthier atmosphere for all Californians.”
WM also has CNG and LNG fueling stations at 17 of its facilities throughout North America with more under development. Woods added that the company hopes to develop a new landfill-gas-to-LNG facility at its landfill in Simi Valley, California.
WM recently expanded its use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in its fleet with two major initiatives: in Camden, the company opened the city’s first public-access CNG fueling station, and announced plans to convert its regional fleet to this clean-burning, environmentally friendly fuel.
The new “Clean N’ Green Fuel” public fueling station, built in partnership with PetroCard, will sell CNG to commercial fleets as well as individuals with CNG equipped vehicles, at prices typically one-third below the cost of gasoline and diesel. In addition to cost savings, CNG reduces particulate matter emissions by 86 percent, carbon monoxide emissions by 80 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 32 percent, and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent. As an additional benefit, CNG trucks run 50 percent quieter than diesel trucks.
Other WM News
- WM of New Jersey recently acquired 14 CNG collection trucks and expects to have 45 CNG vehicles in service by the end of the summer, representing nearly half its Camden-based fleet and covering routes in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties. Deploying these vehicles will help the company reach its sustainability goal of reducing fleet emissions by 15 percent and increasing fuel efficiency by 15 percent by 2020. “Our 45 new CNG trucks will reduce emissions equivalent to taking 3,500 gasoline-powered vehicles off the road,” said AVP John Morris.
- Across the country, on Puget Sound, WM partnered with the city of Renton, Wash., in a program that will put 19 new WM CNG-powered collection trucks on city streets. The fleet was launched at an event on June 6 by Renton Mayor Denis Law and WM Director of Operations Rob Sherman at a local IKEA store. IKEA is a Waste Management customer and is recognized as a global sustainability leader. “This initiative with Waste Management is really all about cleaner air and quieter streets,” said Mayor Law. “It is another opportunity to improve the quality of life for Renton citizens, and an important step forward for this community’s sustainable future.”
- In Washington State, WM also operates clean air trucks in Seattle, and will soon introduce CNG-powered trucks in the cities of Kirkland, Auburn and Federal Way. WM currently operates the largest fleet of CNG recycling and waste collection trucks in North America and will continue to expand their use throughout their operations.