WM (formerly known as WasteManagement) has been operating in Okaloosa County for over 30 years, providing trash and recycling options to the community.
- As part of their “Think Green, Think Clean” initiative, WM is now running 42 compressed natural gas vehicles that is powered by Okaloosa Gas.
“Approximately 92% of our fleet is presently converted,” said Domenica Farmer. “We have actually shifted from the traditional means of running diesel trucks to a much more sustainable, cutting edge experience by incorporating compressed natural gas.”
WM has made a multi-million dollar investment with the infrastructure in Okaloosa.
According to Farmer, the most significant changes moving from a diesel operation to compressed natural gas is that the trucks are quieter and produce less emissions into the atmosphere.
- They also reduced the use of diesel by 8,000 gallons annually.
The garbage that is collected in Okaloosa county is taken to a WM landfill in Campbellton, Florida, approximately 90 miles away.
Landfills naturally produce methane gas. However, WM captures that methane gas, compresses it and then puts it back into the grid. Farmer says that this powers 5,000 homes in Jackson County, Florida.
Single-stream recycling is a method where residents and commercial businesses can place numerous types of recyclables into one bin, with no need for sorting. This includes:
- Cardboard boxes
- Aluminum cans
WM collects approximately 1,200 tons per month of single-stream recycling.
“That is 1,200 tons per month that is no longer sent to a landfill, but is actually used to create other products,” said Farmer. “WM has a commitment to our environment, and part of that commitment is to help educate our public in terms of what can be recycled.”
Farmer says the goal with education is to increase diversion from the present 30% diversion to 50% over the next couple of years, in order for WM to ultimately get to a net zero landfill.
“This facility is a great example of our commitment to running compressed natural gas in our community,” she said. “We continue to expand that commitment to other communities in order for us to reduce emissions and partner with our communities for a safer cleaner environment.”