Renewable natural gas created from cow manure is being used to power Ontario's first carbon-negative refuse-collection truck.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo via CNW Group/Enbridge Gas Inc.
Although a ripe garbage truck may sometimes smell like it, Ontario now has a garbage truck that burns cow manure cleanly for its fuel.
Bluewater Recycling Association, Ontario Waste Management Association, and Enbridge Gas Inc. said that the first-in-Ontario, carbon-negative refuse truck, fuelled by renewable natural gas (RNG) produced by a local Ontario farm mostly via cow manure is now in service.
The Bluewater vehicle will displace CO2 emissions from 18,000 litres of diesel within the first six months of operation.
Using the decomposition of agricultural waste—such as cow manure—creates methane gas, which is converted into RNG and used in place of diesel fuel.
With the vehicle diverting methane emissions that would be released into the air, along with taking away C02 emissions from diesel fuel, the refuse truck offers negative carbon emissions.
As a bonus, the operation also diverts farm waste and supports local economic development.
"I want to extend my congratulations to the Bluewater Recycling Association, the Ontario Waste Management Association, and Enbridge Gas for undertaking this remarkable accomplishment. This carbon-negative refuse truck is another step forward in the drive for innovation leading to better outcomes for our farmers, the environment, and the economy. I applaud everyone who participated in this major advancement," said the Hon. Lisa Thompson, the Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and MPP for Huron-Bruce.
The RNG-propelled vehicles cost about half that of a similar electric vehicle and are priced similar to their diesel truck counterparts.
Diesel trucks can be replaced one-for-one with RNG trucks without compromising performance. Like diesel, RNG operates during freezing weather conditions and refueling takes minutes.
There are over 110-operating RNG facilities in North America, with 10 of those in Canada. Currently, there are more than 30 RNG projects in various stages of development or construction in Ontario.
The RNG vehicles offer similar performance, range, and reliability, work reliably in the winter, and are quick to fill up in minutes.
With the Enbridge Gas turnkey, all-inclusive program, and collaboration with governments and partners, Enbridge Gas is advancing innovative energy solutions and helping fleets switch to green RNG today—a cost-effective, low-carbon alternative to diesel fuel.
Enbridge is also offering a new Voluntary RNG program that provides customers an opportunity to support the transition to clean energy through a small monthly contribution ($2) to help offset the increased costs of acquiring carbon-neutral renewable natural gas.
"The accelerating growth of RNG production in Ontario enables waste industry organizations like BRA to demonstrate leadership in displacing diesel,” said Michele Harradence, President of Enbridge Gas. “Early investments in compressed natural gas (CNG) are paying environmental dividends via RNG as a straightforward path for decarbonizing transportation today. We're pleased to support their efforts as we work together to transition Ontario to a clean energy future."
For information on how to make the switch to RNG, visit www.enbridgegas.com/rng or www.bra.org/rng.