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Vocational Profile: Sustainable practices

March 7, 2016
GreenWaste Recovery is using CNG trucks and other practices to help improve the environment

Starting with its name,  everything about GreenWaste Recovery points to the company’s desire to integrate sustainable and environmentally friendly practices into every aspect of its operation.

Headquartered in San Jose, CA, GreenWaste is a privately owned and locally operated company that specializes in residential and commercial trash, recyclables and organics collection, and processing services in a number of counties and municipalities.

“One way we accomplish this is by having our fleet run on alternative fuels,” says COO Frank Weigel. “For that reason, when we recently started servicing seven different cities on California’s Monterey Peninsula, we decided to field an all-new compressed natural gas [CNG] fleet in those service areas. In other areas, as collection vehicles near the end of their useful life, we’re replacing traditional diesel with either biodiesel or CNG-powered vehicles.”

According to Weigel, the decision to use CNG was based in part on environmental regulations because natural gas trucks help satisfy clean air regulations and local ordinances.

“We will continue to utilize biodiesel and look to expand our alternative fuels profile,” Weigel states. “With the cost of oil plummeting, it’s hard to pinpoint cost savings at the moment, but we do expect the price of CNG to be less volatile over time than diesel.”

The GreenWaste CNG fleet in use in Monterey Peninsula cities consists of Peterbilt Model 320 trucks fitted with Heil bodies. Rear  and front loaders and fully automated side loaders are included. A company facility is under construction so the trucks are temporarily stationed and fueled with CNG at the Monterey Regional Waste Management District.

Four technicians in a company shop perform routine maintenance on the fleet’s CNG trucks. “Our technicians must be certified to work on CNG vehicles, and they undergo safety training to understand the properties of the fuel, components of the CNG fuel system, and basic repair procedures,” Weigel relates. “Coast Counties Peter­­­bilt provides that training and certification, which was a factor in our purchasing decision.”

Weigel also notes that the commitment by GreenWaste to continually improve the environment in which it operates and the quality of life and health of the communities it serves includes voluntary reporting of greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry. The nonprofit organization operates the only carbon footprint registry in North America.

“We believe that reporting GHG emissions accurately and transparently is part of our commitment to being an environmental leader,” Weigel states. “By understanding what emissions are being generated by our operations, we can see where processes can improve and emissions can be reduced through fleet fuel changes, as well as energy efficiency at all of our facilities.”

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