Waste Management Wednesday announced it has begun construction of a new fueling facility to convert its fleet of trucks that serve the Columbus, OH, area from oil to compressed natural gas (CNG). The Houston-based company said it currently has gas fueling stations under development at 27 facilities throughout America.

The new fueling facility, which is being constructed at its Canal Winchester location, “will give us the direct capability to fuel a CNG fleet in the Columbus area,” said Frank Fello, senior district manager for Waste Management in Ohio.

“The transitioning of our 55 trucks [in the region] to CNG fits within our sustainability goals and our company’s overall strategy to minimize our environmental footprint,” he noted, adding that 25 new CNG trucks to serve the area are due to arrive by the end of summer. Fello said the transition of the rest of the fleet to CNG will occur over the next couple of years.

The CNG trucks will emit nearly zero air particulate and up to 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, according to Waste Management. The trucks will carry approximately 50 gallons of CNG, which will allow them to run up to 12 hours and complete a typical day’s waste or recycling collection route.

Across the continent Waste Management has a fleet of about 1,500 CNG and liquefied natural gas vehicles, which is considered the largest in the North American waste industry. As part of its annual fleet conversion, the company said it expects 80% of its new collection vehicle purchases to be natural gas-powered trucks.

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