Waste Management of Seattle introduced the first of 106 new CNG waste collection trucks for its fleet as it broke ground on its new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at its South Seattle operations headquarters.
The trucks use Autocar chassis and McNeilus (an Oshkosh Corporation) bodies. McNeilus expects to deliver the remaining CNG vehicles to Seattle in late March 2009. McNeilus is also providing 40 CNG refuse trucks to Cleanscapes, the other contractor for refuse collection in Seattle under recently awarded contracts (see below).
Waste Management is putting the new trucks into service as they arrive and has a dozen already on the job in Seattle. The full complement of 106 CNG trucks will be in service when Waste Management begins its new collection contract with the city of Seattle on 30 March. Construction on the fueling depot is scheduled to be complete in April. The station will service the new fleet and also be open to the public.
Waste Management is investing $29 million in the new vehicles and an additional $7.5 million to build the fueling station. The new trucks are six times cleaner than diesel engines manufactured in 2007 and meet the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 emission standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and PM.
An independent environmental review produced by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, a environmental consulting firm, determined Waste Management’s equipment upgrade will reduce smog-causing NOx by 97 percent, toxic diesel particulate matter by 94% and greenhouse gas by 20%, over current levels. Switching to advanced CNG vehicle operations will provide significant environmental, public health and community benefits to the region. The collection trucks also will reduce noise pollution.
Within five years all 180-collection trucks in Waste Management’s Seattle-based fleet will be fueled by CNG.
Background. Waste Management (WM) has been providing services under contract with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for twenty years. The other waste collection provider under the current set of contracts, which end in March 2009, is Allied Waste, Inc. Following a number of problems with Allied Waste, SPU issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for solid waste collection and transfer services across four geographic sectors, rather than the current two, in February 2007. Waste Management, Allied Waste and Seattle-based newcomer CleanScapes submitted proposals; SPU chose WM and Cleanscapes.
The 10-year contracts required CleanScapes and Waste Management to purchase all new collection trucks before beginning service in April 2009. All collection trucks are required to meet 2007 Federal Diesel Engine Requirements or to operate on CNG or LNG. Waste Management runs its current collection fleet on diesel. Both WM and Cleanscapes are using CNG under the new contract.