The nation’s garbage is getting a bit cleaner, with Houston-based Waste Management moving forward on its plan to convert all of its 18,342 trucks from diesel to natural-gas (“Familiar rumble fading,” Page D1, May 11). Given that in December 2009, there were only 114,270 vehicles in the United States running on compressed natural gas, this represents a huge addition to the market.
Waste Management predicts that it will save $3 for each gallon-equivalent of compressed natural gas it uses instead of diesel, but the company’s bottom line isn’t the only beneficiary of this change. Upgrading trucks to CNG makes them cleaner, quieter, more efficient. We have the technology, largely thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling, to make natural gas a reliable alternative to diesel or gasoline. And companies like Waste Management, UPS and AT&T are finding natural gas fleets to be the cheapest and most environmentally friendly option for running daily road operations.