Waste Management | VOL. 33

Emissions from US waste collection vehicles

Publication Date May 1, 2013


This research is an in-depth environmental analysis of potential alternative fuel technologies for waste collection vehicles. Life-cycle emissions, cost, fuel and energy consumption were evaluated for a wide range of fossil and bio-fuel technologies. Emission factors were calculated for a typical waste collection driving cycle as well as constant speed. In brief, natural gas waste collection vehicles (compressed and liquid) fueled with North-American natural gas had 6-10% higher well-to-wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to diesel-fueled vehicles; however the pump-to-wheel (PTW) GHG emissions of natural gas waste collection vehicles averaged 6% less than diesel-fueled vehicles. Landfill gas had about 80% lower WTW GHG emissions relative to diesel. Biodiesel waste collection vehicles had between 12% and 75% lower WTW GHG emissions relative to diesel depending on the fuel source and the blend. In 2011, natural gas waste collection vehicles had the lowest fuel cost per collection vehicle kilometer travel. Finally, the actual driving cycle of waste collection vehicles consists of repetitive stops and starts during waste collection; this generates more emissions than constant speed driving.


Waste Collection Vehicles Greenhouse Gas Emissions Well-to-wheel North-American Natural Gas Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse Gas Waste Collection Natural Waste Diesel-fueled Vehicles Lower Greenhouse Gas

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