Enbridge Gas, OWMA decarbonize waste collection trucks with RNG

By Enbridge Gas Inc. | April 13, 2022

Enbridge Gas Inc., in agreement with the Ontario Waste Management Association, is thrilled to announce a pilot project to use low-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) in waste collection vehicles across Ontario. RNG is a carbon-neutral fuel source that presents a tremendous opportunity to help Ontario reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Currently, more than 40 percent of Ontario's waste sector expenditures are related to transportation costs, which are expected to increase. While the sector has made significant contributions to sustainability by supporting waste diversion efforts there is room to build on that success and continue investing in a green future.

With a fleet of 3,650 waste collection and haulage vehicles in Ontario that consume about 130 million liters of diesel per year, there is a significant opportunity to reduce emissions by transitioning the industry to low-carbon renewable fuels.

RNG is an affordable, safe and reliable alternative clean energy fuel that leverages existing natural gas infrastructure. Because it can be powered by waste, it has the added bonus of diverting waste from landfills, and in some cases resulting in carbon-negative emissions, which contributes to the creation of a circular economy.

The steady and accelerating growth of RNG production in Ontario enables industry organizations like OWMA to demonstrate leadership in displacing diesel and supports its vision to collaborate with community stakeholders to advance best practices in waste management. For example, this RNG opportunity will enable existing gas-fueled waste vehicles to attain near zero emissions and will enable existing fleets to attain a total of 56,000 metric tons of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in Ontario—roughly equivalent to removing 12,000 passenger cars off the road each year.

An ambitious agenda to increase the use of RNG in the transportation of waste could result in a significant annual reduction of 440,000 metric tons of GHG emissions—roughly equivalent to removing 100,000 passenger cars off the road each year—and Ontario's waste industry is poised to lead the country in the effort to green the heavy transportation sector.

"Renewable natural gas is now playing a role in Ontario's shift to lower–carbon, sustainable energy solutions. It is an important example of the investments Enbridge Gas is making across multiple markets to green the natural gas grid, while continuing to meet the demand for safe, reliable and affordable energy. We are proud to have provided early support to this pilot that is changing the face of the industry and contributing to the decarbonization of one of Ontario's highest emitting sectors,” said Malini Giridhar, vice president, business development and regulatory, Enbridge Gas Inc.

"There is a strong signal that the time to act in our industry is now and ensure we harness the economic and environmental value of low-carbon fuels. Ontario's waste sector wants to do its part in reducing emissions and recover more resources from waste. This partnership is the beginning of a generational transformation of how we better manage waste to achieve a low-carbon future,” said Mike Chopowick, CEO, Ontario Waste Management Association.

"We are so pleased to be a part of this initiative. CNGVA member fleets are already contributing to emissions reductions in Ontario's waste management sector. To date annual emissions reductions from Ontario's 600 gaseous fuelled refuse vehicles include a 90 percent reduction of combustion emissions that create smog and have other health impacts. In addition, these vehicles are also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to removing 2,000 cars from Ontario's roads. This industry is already leading in emissions reductions and is poised to support further emissions reductions across the commercial transportation sector.
 said Bruce Winchester, executive director, CNGVA.

"As a global group of professionals, we are committed to solving the world's biggest challenges in the areas of water, energy and urbanisation. Currently, Ontarians generate almost 4 million tonnes of food and organic waste annually. There is an important opportunity ahead of us to enhance resource recovery from waste, reduce emissions from vehicle fuels, and conserve Ontario's increasingly scarce landfill capacity to achieve a greener future for all Ontarians,” said Robert Dysiewicz, global commercial innovation leader, GHD.

"We are proud to be one of the world's leading clean energy hubs thanks to innovative solutions and partnerships like this one that are helping to decarbonize Ontario's heavy transportation sector. Low-carbon energy solutions like renewable natural gas play an important role in supporting our province's greenhouse gas reduction targets, while also helping us build a greener, healthier future for all Ontarians,” said Todd Smith, Ontario's Energy Minister

"Reducing emissions to combat climate change and its impacts on our province is a top priority for our government. Initiatives like this one – decarbonizing waste collection trucks – will play an important role in our efforts to reduce Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions and reach our 2030 targets. I would like to thank Enbridge and the Ontario Waste Management Association for the tremendous work they have done on this project. Together, we will build a cleaner, greener province for generations to come,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.