COLUMBUS, OH -- Waste Management said it plans to convert its refuse and recycling fleet in Columbus, Ohio, to trucks running on compressed natural gas (CNG). This will be Waste Management’s first fleet of CNG trucks in Ohio. 

A new CNG fueling facility will also be installed at the company’s Canal Winchester location.

"This new fueling facility will give us the direct capability to fuel a CNG fleet in the Columbus area, and with the CNG fleet, we’ll lower our fleet emissions, helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Frank Fello, senior district manager for Waste Management of Ohio. 

"The transitioning of our 55 trucks to CNG fits within our sustainability goals and our company's overall strategy to minimize our environmental footprint,” Fello added. “It also complements our position as the largest residential recycler and a leading waste-to-energy operator in North America." 

The trucks will emit nearly zero air particulates and up to 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The engines also 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.

Waste Management’s fleet of about 1,000 CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles are the largest in the North American refuse industry. As part of the company’s annual fleet conversion, Waste Management expects 80 percent of its new collection vehicle purchases to be natural gas-powered trucks. The company currently has natural gas fueling stations at 17 facilities throughout North America and more under development.

Waste Management said its sustainability goals include lowering emissions by 15 percent and increasing the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15 percent by the year 2020.

The company also is responding to local governmental customers who have asked Waste Management to expand its use of the cleaner burning vehicles as they pursue steps in their municipalities to achieve local environmental sustainability goals.