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Waste Management of Seattle Unveils New Compressed Natural Gas Collection Fleet

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.


Nick Lyons

I'm guessing WM is going to save a lot on fuel compared to diesel prices.


Along with all the other benefits could be mentioned that the NG fuel was probably not imported, at least not from the other side of the world.


"The trucks use Autocar chassis and McNeilus (an Oshkosh Corporation) bodies."

The critical point in the whole article is the ENGINE. Where are the details about the engine?



The fleet will likely run (or partially run) on natural gas produced from the dumps the companies manage.

Andrey Levin

Except it is cheaper to generate and sell electricity and heat from unrefined biogas than treat it to the quality of transportation fuel.

Kit P

How green is Seattle?

“The remaining 426,000 tons were hauled to a landfill in Eastern Oregon.”

I can not rember the name of the city in Oregan that is the dump for Seattle but it is across the river from:

Roosevelt Regional Landfill

There is a LFG power plant at Roosevelt. Andrey is correct when, it is cheaper to make electricity than to drive 200 miles to fill up the trucks with LFG.


they dont seem to mention any economic reasons for doing this, perhaps it was just to pollute less?.. Wonder if they did an economic analysis.. might have been better off just planting a few trees.


So, 106 teucks for 29 million is $273,500 per truck, this is about $100,000 price premium for CNG. Now add in the 7.5 million for the refualing staion, which for 106 trucks over a 12 year life, that is $5900 per truck per year just for the infastructure. You will have to save a lot on fuel to make this fiscally responsible.

As for the emissions, they swing this as usual saying it is cleaner than diesel and then comparing the new CNG emissions to the current old fleet, not to what the new diesel would have produced. Granted, the NOx numbers are lower, but the PM numbers are very comparable. And for a lot less than $100k per truck, they could have added additional retrofit emissions systems that would make them as clean or cleaner than the CNG and would not have had to build a whole new fueling facitlity.

I am OK with using CNG as a fuel source, just be honest with the numbers so people realize what the true costs are.

Kit P

Seattle could have gone with biodiesel produced in Washington State rather than a imported fossil fuel. At least the big coal fired power plant that serves the Seattle area does not import fossil fuel from other countries.


Not to jump on you too hard or anything, but there is no big coal fired power plant serving Seattle. Seattle City Light, which is the power company for the city, gets its power from 3 hydroelectric dams in the North Cascades Range, just south of the Washington/Canadian border.
Here is a link to the fuel mix for Seattle electricity generation.
I know this does not directly relate to the story, but a comment like yours with no backing, needs to be refuted.

Kit P

Tanzer you are kidding, right?

Do you believe everything government spits out? There is a 1100 MWe coal plant at Centralia, Wa. Who do you think it servers, Chicago?

It is directly related to the story. The leaders of Seattle say one thing and do another.

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