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While using waste methane from landfills or agricultural operations to produce electricity is becoming more common, EnergyNOW reports that Waste Management is going a step further and using the gas to power some of its garbage trucks in California.
As diesel gets more expensive, truck fleet operators around the country are considering a switch to compressed natural gas, which can be cheaper but comes with higher upfront fueling costs. And because natural gas is essentially methane, there’s no reason why waste landfill gas can’t be liquified and used in those same trucks.
The potential for landfill gas as a motor fuel is limited, however. EnergyNOW calculates that liquified methane could displace about 800 million gallons of diesel fuel per year, or about 2 percent of the total currently used.