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By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
CRANSTON - Officials from the state and Waste Management of Rhode Island celebrated the opening of the first compressed natural gas fleet fueling facility in New England Tuesday, including the rolling-out of 48 new natural gas-powered waste and recycling collection vehicles.
Located at 1688 Pontiac Ave. in Cranston, the $2.8 million fueling facility is built to house a total of 80 vehicles. The 48 natural gas powered trucks, worth $16 million, run quieter, cleaner and greener than conventional diesel vehicles, reducing air particulate emissions by up to 90 percent and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, according to Waste Management.
For each truck replaced with compressed natural gas, the use of diesel fuel will reduced by about 8,000 gallons per year, a reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
To its credit, Waste Management has a fleet of 1,700 of natural gas trucks throughout the country, the largest in the waste industry; natural gas-powered vehicles make up 80 percent of the company’s annual truck purchases. By the end of 2012, the company expects to have 45 new fueling facilities in place.
The new vehicles will serve the cities of Cranston, Providence and Woonsocket and the town of Burrillville and roughly 4,000 customers throughout the state.
The multimillion dollar investment in the new fleet and fueling facility supports Waste Management’s goal of reducing fleet emissions by 15 percent and increasing fuel efficiency by 15 percent by 2020.