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Waste Management's Calif. CNG Trucks Cut Emissions By One Fourth

April 23, 2014

Photo courtesy of Waste Management.
Photo courtesy of Waste Management.

Waste Management has added six compressed natural gas refuse trucks to its fleet in Chico, Calif., as the refuse hauler continued to aggressively pursue its sustainability goals.

Earlier this month, Waste Management of North Valley rolled out the six medium-duty, dedicated CNG trucks that reduce particulate matter by 90 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, according to the company.

"We see an average annual reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 8,000 gallons of diesel with the CNG trucks," said Ryan West, district manager. "We are proud to be the first and only waste and recycling collection company in the area to operate the CNG trucks, which helps keep the air in our community clean."

Waste Management's Chico fleet is made up of Class 7 trucks with ASL refuse bodies and powered by Cummins ISLG CNG engines that generate 320 horsepower. The hauler operates 14 trucks, including the six CNG trucks.

The new trucks will use the PG&E fueling station in Chico.

The company has also implemented route optimization software that reduces driving time by several thousand hours each year. In addition, the truck engines are programmed to shut down automatically after idling for five minutes to save fuel and further reduce emissions.

The nation's largest refuse hauler began adding natural gas vehicles in the early 1990s and in four years ending in 2011 increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions by 20 percent.

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  1. 1. Steve Hansen [ April 24, 2014 @ 10:13AM ]

    I really would like to see the data that supports Waste Management's claim that thier "CNG trucks reduce particulate matter by 90 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent' and the claims of "an average annual reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases."

    New clean diesel buses and trucks have reduced NOx and PM emissions by over 98 percent. Ultra-low sulfur diesel has reduced sulfur by 97 percent - from 500 ppm to 15 ppm.

    An analysis by the Clean Air Task Force compared 2012 CNG to 2012 clean diesel buses, which is significant because the natural gas industry often compares 2012/13 CNG buses to older diesel technology to inflate the CNG environmental advantage. The Clean Air Task Force study compares new diesel buses to new CNG buses.

    2012 Clean Diesel Bus/2012 CNG Emissions Comparison To 2000 Diesel Bus

    Nitrogen Oxide Particulate Matter Hydrocarbon
    (NOx) (PM) (HC)
    2012 Diesel Bus -94% -98% -89%

    2012 CNG Bus -80% -99% -100%
    (Source: Clean Air Task Force - "Clean Diesel versus CNG Buses: Cost, Air Quality, & Climate Impacts")

    The analysis: "Both new diesel and new CNG buses have significantly lower emissions of NOx, PM, and HC than the older diesel buses that they replace. According to EPA's MOVES emissions model a 2012 model year diesel bus emits 94% less NOx per mile, 98% less PM, and 89% less HC than a model year 2000 (12-year old) diesel bus. A model year 2012 CNG bus emits 80% less NOx, 99% less PM, and 100% less HC than a model year 2000 diesel bus."

    In addition, I suggest people read the recent stories in the NY Times ("Study Finds Methane Leaks Negate Benefits of Natural Gas as a Fuel for Vehicles" 2/13/14) and USA Today ("Natural gas vehicles worse for climate than diesel ones?" 2/14/14) to see how natural gas is a very questionable replacement for clean diesel.

    But first, I'd like to see how the company came up with their very questionable emissions claims.


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