Waste Management (NYSE:WM) today announced the opening of its 50th natural gas fueling station, a further move toward the company’s sustainability goals of reducing its fleet emissions and increasing its fuel efficiency. At a ceremony in Jackson, Miss., state, county and local officials joined the company to dedicate the fueling station and the fleet, which will service routes in the communities in and around the city.
“This is a significant milestone for us as we convert our heavy-duty collection fleet to natural gas,” said Eric Woods, vice president of fleet supply chain for Waste Management. “For each diesel truck produced in 2006 or earlier that we replace with a natural gas one, we see an average annual reduction of 8,000 gallons of diesel and 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases.”
Woods added that with the company’s 32,000 collection and support vehicles, the conversion makes good business sense because of the significant maintenance and diesel fuel costs savings.
Considered one of the cleanest alternative fuels available for heavy-duty trucks in the transportation industry, compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel will also be made available to Jackson municipalities, businesses and the public through the new CNG retail station.
Of the company’s 50 fueling stations across North America, 18 are accessible to the public. Waste Management owns the stations, purchases the fuel and funds their construction, a strategy that allows the company to secure competitive prices.
Waste Management has been a pioneer and national leader in the use of natural gas for heavy duty trucks since the 1990s. The company already operates more than 2,200 alternatively fueled vehicles with the largest fleet of natural gas collection trucks in North America.
In 2007, as part of its corporate sustainability goals, Waste Management committed to increase its fleet’s fuel efficiency by 15 percent and reduce its fleet emissions by 15 percent by 2020. The company accomplished a 20 percent reduction in fleet emissions by the end of 2011, beating its goal by nine years.