Most people have never seen a Waste Management landfill. Or a Waste Management recycling facility. But most everybody has seen a Waste Management truck. What they might not know is that our fleet of vehicles has become one of our most important–and impactful–environmental solutions.
Committing to a more sustainable future starts with a good, hard look at our own operations. One of the first places we looked was at our fleet of collection vehicles. After several years of serious experimentation, we determined that converting our fleet to natural gas is the best option to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
So convert we have. Within a few years of that commitment, some 2,000 natural gas collection vehicles have been put into operation-making ours the largest heavy-duty natural gas fleet in the country. And we're just getting started.
Switching to a natural gas fleet reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and delivers improvement in per-mile emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate material
Our investment in natural gas vehicles also includes public fueling stations for our fleet and other local natural gas fleets
The conversion to a natural gas fleet involves more than just our vehicles. It also involves how and where we get the natural gas to fill those vehicles. Our Altamont Landfill in California was one of the nation's first to install turbines to convert landfill gas to electricity. Today, Altamont produces up to 13,000 diesel gallon equivalents of clean-burning natural gas to power approximately 300 solid waste and recyclable material collection vehicles on a daily basis. Use of this near-zero carbon fuel eliminates nearly 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
To bring it to our vehicles involves a state-of-the-art vacuum extraction system and a network of wells to capture the gas. The collected landfill gas is then refined into high quality renewable natural gas. The power to run the plant is also derived from landfill gas. Residue contaminants are removed and flared to minimize discharge to the atmosphere. Converting landfill gas to a green alternative to fossil fuel is the ultimate closed-loop approach to managing historic waste streams.
Collection vehicles fueled by Altamont RLNG (renewable liquified natural gas) produce 95% fewer carbon emissions than diesel-fueled trucks.
The Altamont landfill's gas-to-RLNG transportation fuel plant is the largest in the world.
Using LNG from the Altamont facility is estimated to save 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year and reduce GHG emissions by 30,000 tons/year.