Waste Management will add 35 compressed natural gas-powered vehicles to its Houston fleet by the end of 2012, the company said, and will soon open its CNG fueling station in Conroe, Texas to consumers.
Each Class 8 diesel truck that Waste Management replaces with natural gas reduces diesel use by an average of 8,000 gallons per year and cuts annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22 metric tons, the company said.
CNG reduces particulate matter emissions to nearly zero, carbon monoxide emissions by 75 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 49 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent. It also costs less compared to traditional fuels and runs 50 percent quieter than diesel trucks, Waste Management said.
The company currently operates five CNG-powered collection vehicles in Houston’s north suburban communities, and more than 1,400 CNG vehicles in North America, which it says is the largest fleet of CNG recycling and waste collection trucks on the continent.
In 2012, natural gas vehicles will represent 80 percent of the company’s annual new truck purchases, and WM plans to maintain that percentage for five years. The company operates 28 CNG fueling stations in North America and says it plans to have 50 in operation by the end of 2012.
The fueling stations and CNG vehicles are one element in Waste Management’s larger sustainability efforts. In 2007, the company set a goal of reducing fleet emissions by 15 percent and increasing fuel efficiency by 15 percent by 2020.
Frito-Lay last week announced it will deploy CNG vehicles at seven Frito-Lay North America distribution centers in the coming months, and Sunny Delight Beverages put into service a fleet of three CNG vehicles for distribution in southern California.