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Air Quality

Published on May 8th, 2008 | by Sarah Lozanova

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Fuel from Trash Will Power California Garbage Trucks

May 8th, 2008 by  


landfill gas fuel300 garbage collection trucks in California will soon be fueled by the same trash that they haul. Landfill gas will be purified and liquefied, producing up to 13,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) daily.

This facility at Waste Management’s (WMI: NYSE) Altamont Landfill in Livermore, California will begin operation in 2009. It comes with a price tag of $15.5 million, with grants providing $1.4 million.

Cleaner Fuel

Waste Management is the largest waste management company in North America and operates the largest US fleet of heavy-duty collection trucks. The company has a goal to reduce fleet emissions by 15% by 2020.

The new facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year, according to Linde North America. LNG is a cleaner burning transportation fuel that emits less nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and particulates than diesel-fueled vehicles.

Duane Woods, senior vice president, Western group of Waste Management, said, “This will be the largest plant of its kind and we hope to break new ground by producing commercial quantities. Natural gas is already the cleanest burning fuel available for our collection trucks, and the opportunity to use recovered landfill gas offers enormous environmental benefits to the communities we serve.”

Demand for Low-carbon Fuels

California passed a law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 and other states may follow. Demand for low-carbon fuels is expected to increase significantly in California as the state starts requiring a decrease in carbon emissions. Waste Management will be ahead of the curve by having plants like this in operation, creating lucrative business opportunities.

Sarah Lozanova is passionate about the new green economy and is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Energy International Quarterly, ThinkGreen.com, Triple Pundit, Green Business Quarterly, Renewable Energy World, and Green Business Quarterly. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative.

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Photo Credit: Waste Management


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About the Author

is passionate about the new green economy and renewable energy. Sarah's experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative. When she can escape the internet vortex, she enjoys playing in the forest, paddling down rivers, or twisting into yoga poses.



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