Waste Management raises commitment to natural gas as it opens its first Chicago-area CNG fueling station
Clean-burning vehicles reduce exhaust emissions for cleaner air
Waste Management of Illinois today raised its commitment to use clean-burning natural gas-powered garbage and recycling trucks with the dedication here of a new filling station for compressed natural gas (CNG).
Joining Waste Management were officials from north suburban communities, the State of Illinois, the Gas Technology Institute, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC) Coalition, a voluntary organization launched by the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage the use of clean fuels and clean vehicle technologies in the Chicago metropolitan area.
The new facility is equipped with 40 filling bays to fuel Waste Management CNG collection vehicles. 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.
The natural gas is conveyed to the facility by pipe from a NICOR gas main nearby. CNG is the same gas used in homes for heating and cooking.
“We congratulate Waste Management for taking another major step in demonstrating its commitment to the environment by implementing natural gas-powered refuse haulers and a natural gas refueling station at its Wheeling facility,” said Lisa Bonnett, Interim Director for the Illinois EPA. “Clean-burning natural gas is a great way to significantly reduce emissions from heavy-duty trucks and help our state meet its air quality goals and further our energy independence.”
Darwin Burkhart, manager of alternate fuel programs at the Illinois EPA and Chairman of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition, added, “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.”
“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 the Company to expand its use of the cleaner burning vehicles as they pursue steps in their municipalities to achieve local environmental sustainability goals.
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’s fleet of about 1,000 CNG vehicles is the largest in North America. The Company expects to spend up to $500 million per year on its fleet and heavy equipment over the next decade.
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest recycler in North America and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.