On Friday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest of Waste Management's compressed natural gas refueling facilities . The facility is located in Bristol and will be used to refuel Waste Management's fleet as well as being open to the public. Here are the details.
* Corbett praised the company for realizing "the opportunity they have here," with the Marcellus Shale now being the most productive gas field in the world.
* The governor stated that Waste Management, by converting its truck fleet to CNG, "is investing in the future, saving on fuel costs, contributing to our energy independence and helping the environment."
* Houston-based Waste Management, with the nation's largest fleet of CNG heavy-duty trucks, reported last month that it is well on its way to achieving its goal of converting 80 percent of its collection vehicles to natural gas.
* The company began converting its fleet to natural gas in early 2009, when it broke ground on a CNG fueling station in Seattle and announced the addition of 106 CNG trucks there.
* At the time, Waste Management stated that it was investing $29 million in the new vehicles and an additional $7.5 million to build the fueling station.
* As of last month, the company had more than 2,000 CNG trucks across North America, as well as 40 company-use natural gas fueling stations and another 21 that are available for public use or to others with pre-approved access.
* "North America has significant natural gas resources," the company stated. "Tapping and using those resources creates environmental, economic and energy security benefits for the U.S. and Canada, if done responsibly."
* The company announced that it would be participating in a study to measure the fugitive emissions of methane associated with the routine operation of natural gas fleet vehicles in order to minimize the impacts of it.
* According to Waste Management, the use of the CNG fleet reduces the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent and mono-nitrogen oxides by more than 30 percent when compared to equivalent 2013 diesel-fueled trucks.
* A 2012 Wall Street Journal report stated that the company's five-year plan of having 80 percent of its vehicles fueled by natural gas was created after rising diesel costs resulted in $169 million being charged to customers just to keep the garbage trucks fueled.
* The CNG vehicles cost about $30,000 apiece, the report stated, but will save $27,000 a year or more in fuel.
- Nature & Environment