Waste Management of Louisiana has opened a new compressed natural gas fleet facility in Walker.

The new CNG facility, servicing routes in Livingston Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area, is a major step toward the company’s goal of reducing its fleet emissions and increasing its fuel efficiency, said Warren Guedry, public sectors solution – Gulf Coast area.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks and Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey said at the event that the grand opening of the facility is an important development for Walker and Livingston Parish.

In February 2014, Waste Management officials announced that they would begin a conversion of their truck fleet in the Baton Rouge area to CNG in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the project was anticipated to last six to eight months.

Waste Management’s CNG-powered vehicles cut smog-producing nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 50 percent compared to the cleanest diesel trucks and are quieter.

The company already operates over 4,000 of these alternatively fueled vehicles nationwide and has the largest CNG waste collection fleet in North America.

Each Class 8 diesel truck 2006 and older replaced with a natural gas vehicle reduces diesel use by an average of 8,000 gallons per year and cuts annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22 metric tons, or over 48,000 pounds annually.