Waste Management Inc. said it opened Camden’s first publicly accessible compressed natural gas, or CNG, fueling station Wednesday. The Houston-based firm, which provides waste collection, disposal and other services, said it will sell the alternative fuel to commercial fleets and individuals with CNG-equipped vehicles for about a third below the cost of gasoline and diesel.
The new facility is adjacent to an existing one Waste Management uses for its own vehicles, said spokesman George McGrath.
“We expect demand at the new facility will come from taxis, bus fleets and certain kinds of road grading and other vehicles,” he said. “The new site uses the same gas lines as the existing one, but it has a fast-fill pump that can a fill a vehicle with CNG in about the same time it takes to pump in gas or diesel fuel. Our company-only site has a slow-fill pump that lets drivers drop off their vehicles at the end of a day and refuels them overnight.”
Waste Management also announced it recently acquired 14 compressed natural gas collection trucks, and expects to have 45 such vehicles in service by the end of the summer, representing nearly half its Camden-based fleet and covering routes in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties.
“Right now, there isn’t much consumer demand in the U.S. for CNG, because not many passenger cars here are equipped for it,” said Bruce Russell, a spokesman for Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the Seal Beach, Calif.-based company that built the Camden facility. “So you have to have an anchor tenant, like a fleet or an airport that will provide steady user demand.”
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has built similar facilities in Newark Liberty International Airport, Trenton, Egg Harbor and other locations. Later this year, the company will build one in Morris County, he added.
Other than the just-opened Camden facility, there are 23 CNG fueling stations operating or planned in New Jersey, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Only two of those — at Newark airport and in an Atlantic County Utilities Authority site — are open to the public, according to the agency.