Waste Management of Illinois has dedicated a new 40-bay filling station for compressed natural gas (CNG) for fueling Waste Management CNG collection vehicles in Chicago. The Company currently operates six CNG-powered vehicles in Chicago’s north suburban communities and is awaiting delivery of 10 additional CNG vehicles this summer. The Company plans to increase its purchase of CNG-powered vehicles going forward.
“We have made the commitment to use more and more clean-burning CNG-powered collection trucks in the Chicago area,” said Steve Batchelor, Waste Management’s area vice president for Illinois and Indiana. “Our Wheeling facility will give us the direct capability to fuel our growing CNG fleet in the northern suburbs, lower our exhaust emissions, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It’s a good step for our operations and a positive environmental contribution to the communities we serve.”
Batchelor said Waste Management is embracing clean fuel technology across North America and has set a goal to lower the overall emissions by 15 percent and increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent, each by the year 2020 as part of its sustainability goals. He said the Company also is responding to local governmental customers who have asked it to expand the use of the cleaner burning vehicles as they pursue steps in their municipalities to achieve local environmental sustainability goals.
At the dedication ceremony Darwin Burkhart, manager of alternate fuel programs at the Illinois EPA and Chairman of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition, said, “Using an American fuel such as natural gas is a sound business decision already made by Waste Management and over one hundred other green fleets in Illinois. During the past several years, many companies and local governments have demonstrated that clean, domestic fuels are less costly and make a lot of sense at a time when everyone is trying to save money.”
The trucks are powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG), resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. They deliver nearly zero air particulates and 23 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The engines run quieter than traditional diesel engines, reducing noise during collection operations on community streets. The trucks, which use a “slow-fill” procedure to achieve greater engine efficiency, carry approximately 50 gallons of CNG.
This capacity allows them to run 10 to 12 hours and complete a typical day’s waste or recycling collection route.
The Wheeling facility is the Company’s first CNG filling station in the Chicago area, and plans are under way for a second Chicago-area site at the Company’s operations in Chicago’s western suburbs. That is expected to start operations late this year.
Waste Management has a fleet of about 1,000 CNG vehicles. The Company expects to spend up to $500 million per year on its fleet and heavy equipment over the next decade.
This article compiled using information from a Waste Management, Inc. press release.