Waste Management of Illinois, Inc., a waste management services provider and subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., has signaled its commitment to using trucks powered by clean-burning fuels in dedicating a commercial compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility in Stickney, Illinois. The facility is equipped with 55 “slow-fuel” stations for the Company’s growing CNG fleet of trucks.
The Company currently operates more than 30 CNG trucks in the Chicago area. It will have more than 80 in the area by year end, stated to be Illinois’ largest commercial CNG refuse truck fleet.
Trucks deployed from the facility are used on City of Chicago recycling collection routes that serve approximately 90,000 households, Chicago-area commercial routes, and municipal collection routes in western suburbs including Oak Park and Westchester. Construction of the facility took about three months to complete. It is Waste Management’s second in the Chicago area. Its Wheeling CNG site opened last May to serve Chicago’s northern suburbs.
“We are rapidly transitioning to using clean-burning fuels like CNG in our collection vehicles in the Chicago area,” said Steve Batchelor, Waste Management area vice president for Illinois and Indiana. “Our new Stickney CNG facility represents a substantial commitment that will allow us to independently support our growing CNG fleet in Chicago and across northeastern Illinois.”
“By transforming a large fleet operation to natural gas and installing this publicly available natural gas station, Waste Management is leading by example and using our own American fuels. This is why they were designated an Illinois Green Fleet just a few months ago,” stated Darwin Burkhart, Chair of the Chicago Area Clean Cities coalition and alternate fuel program manager for the Illinois EPA.
Batchelor said converting to CNG trucks will improve air quality in communities Waste Management serves and help the Company achieve its sustainability goals to reduce its overall fleet emissions by 15 percent and increase its fuel efficiency by 15 percent by the year 2020.
The approximately 57,000-square-foot fueling site receives its natural gas from a nearby gas main of AGL Resources Company NICOR. The site is equipped with dual compressors feeding gas to the fueling stations. CNG is the same gas used in homes for heating and cooking.
The facility includes a public, easy-access “Clean N’ Green” retail station that is equipped with four “fast-fuel” pumps that can be used by individuals, companies or municipalities operating CNG vehicles. The unmanned retail facility will be operated by PetroCard for Waste Management.
Trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) achieve a smaller carbon footprint. They deliver nearly zero air particulates and up to 23 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The engines run quieter than traditional diesel engines, reducing noise during collection operations on community streets.
The Waste Management trucks are fueled using a “slow-fill” procedure to improve efficiency and carry approximately 58 diesel equivalent gallons of CNG. The CNG trucks have a capacity to carry between five and eight tons of material — the same payload as traditional collection vehicles — and can run 10 to 12 hours, completing a typical day’s waste or recycling collection route.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Waste Management’s fleet of over 1,400 natural gas vehicles is apparently the largest in the North American waste industry. As part of the company’s annual fleet conversion, Waste Management expects 80 percent of its annual new collection vehicle purchases to be natural gas-powered trucks. The Company also converts landfill gas to power collection trucks in California.
(This article compiled using information from a Waste Management, Inc. press release)