STICKNEY, Ill., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management of Illinois, Inc. today signaled its commitment to using trucks powered by clean-burning fuels in dedicating the largest commercial compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility in Illinois.
The facility, at 5050 W. Pershing Road, Stickney, is equipped with 55 "slow-fuel" stations for the Company's growing CNG fleet of trucks. The Company currently operates more than 30 CNG trucks in the Chicago area. It will have more than 80 in the area by year end, making it Illinois' largest commercial CNG refuse truck fleet.
Trucks deployed from the facility are used on City of Chicago recycling collection routes that serve approximately 90,000 households, Chicago-area commercial routes, and municipal collection routes in western suburbs including Oak Park and Westchester.
Joining Waste Management executives were officials of the State of Illinois, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Village of Stickney, the City of Chicago, Clean Cities Chicago, the Gas Technology Institute, and representatives from numerous suburbs served by the Company.
"We are rapidly transitioning to using clean-burning fuels like CNG in our collection vehicles in the Chicago area," said Steve Batchelor, Waste Management area vice president for Illinois and Indiana. "Our new Stickney CNG facility represents a substantial commitment that will allow us to independently support our growing CNG fleet in Chicago and across northeastern Illinois."
"As we strive to maintain a healthy environment for all citizens, the Illinois EPA welcomes Waste Management's contribution toward cleaner air," said IEPA Interim Director John Kim. "Compressed natural gas is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel fuel, which means significantly less emissions of air pollutants."
"By transforming a large fleet operation to natural gas and installing this publicly available natural gas station, Waste Management is leading by example and using our own American fuels. This is why they were designated an Illinois Green Fleet just a few months ago," stated Darwin Burkhart, Chair of the Chicago Area Clean Cities coalition and alternate fuel program manager for the Illinois EPA.
Batchelor said converting to CNG trucks will improve air quality in communities Waste Management serves and help the Company achieve its sustainability goals to reduce its overall fleet emissions by 15 percent and increase its fuel efficiency by 15 percent by the year 2020. Construction of the facility took about three months to complete.
The approximately 57,000-square-foot fueling site receives its natural gas from a NICOR gas main nearby. The site is equipped with dual compressors feeding gas to the fueling stations. CNG is the same gas used in homes for heating and cooking.
The facility includes a public, easy-access "Clean N' Green" retail station along Pershing Road that is equipped with four "fast-fuel" pumps that can be used by individuals, companies or municipalities operating CNG vehicles. The unmanned retail facility will be operated by PetroCard for Waste Management.
Trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) achieve a smaller carbon footprint. They deliver nearly zero air particulates and up to 23 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The engines run quieter than traditional diesel engines, reducing noise during collection operations on community streets.
The Waste Management trucks are fueled using a "slow-fill" procedure to improve efficiency and carry approximately 58 diesel equivalent gallons of CNG. The CNG trucks have a capacity to carry between five and eight tons of material -- the same payload as traditional collection vehicles -- and can run 10 to 12 hours, completing a typical day's waste or recycling collection route.
The Stickney facility is Waste Management's second in the Chicago area. Its Wheeling CNG site opened last May to serve Chicago's northern suburbs.
Waste Management's fleet of over 1,400 natural gas vehicles is the largest in the North American waste industry. As part of the company's annual fleet conversion, Waste Management expects 80 percent of its annual new collection vehicle purchases to be natural gas-powered trucks.
Waste Management is taking other steps to improve its fleet operations, reduce emissions and save fuel. Truck engines are programmed to shut down automatically after idling for five minutes. Computerized routing tools improve collection efficiency. The Company also is using biofuels and other renewable energy in its vehicles, including converting landfill gas to power collection trucks in California.
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 also 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.
SOURCE Waste Management of Illinois, Inc.