Waste Management has launched a new local fleet of 25 clean-burning compressed-natural-gas trucks and unveiled Louisville, Ky.'s first public-access, 24-hour CNG fueling station.

The fleet is the first of its kind in Kentucky, Waste Management says, replacing heavy-duty collection trucks with vehicles that run on clean-burning CNG. The new fueling station provides first-of-its-kind infrastructure in Louisville to serve commercial fleet managers and private individuals a ready supply of CNG fuel.

Mayor Greg Fischer, along with other civic, community and sustainability leaders, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and demonstration of the new facility last week at Waste Management's 7501 Grade Lane location.

Waste Management is adding up to 25 CNG-powered collection vehicles in Louisville and will roll out additional CNG-powered collection vehicles in the area in the future. The public fueling station will refuel Waste Management's local fleet as well as sell CNG to commercial fleets and retail consumers with CNG-equipped vehicles.

"Since natural gas-powered collection trucks run cleaner and quieter, we've made the commitment to use more in our local operations and support sustainability in this community by opening a public CNG station," said Tim Wells, area vice president for Waste Management in Kentucky as well as Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The self-service station will be open 24/7 and accept major credit cards as well as Clean N' Green and other fleet cards such as Wright Express, Voyager and Fuelman.

CNG Station Network Expands

The Louisville fueling station and local CNG vehicles are one element in Waste Management's broader sustainability efforts in Louisville and elsewhere around North America. In 2007, the company set a goal of reducing fleet emissions by 15 percent and increasing fuel efficiency by 15 percent by 2020.

In the first half of 2012, Waste Management has opened thirteen CNG stations across the country, of which nine are publicly accessible. This brings the company's natural gas fueling station network to 31. Another 17 will be either in operation or in construction by the end of 2012.

"Waste Management already operates nearly 1,700 CNG vehicles, the largest fleet of CNG recycling and waste collection trucks in North America," said Wells. "Each additional Class 8 diesel truck we replace with natural gas reduces diesel use by an average of 8,000 gallons per year and cuts annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22 metric tons."