Gallery: Toronto Rolls Out Biogas-Capable Garbage Trucks


The Canadian city of Toronto has unveiled a garbage truck that is capable of being fueled by biogas created by the waste it collects. The new model of garbage truck is the latest addition to the city’s green fleet, which aims to reduce the Toronto’s fuel consumption and protect the air quality.

The new garbage truck comes equipped with a Cummins Westport ISL G engine, which can run on biogas or compressed natural gas and meets 2010 emission standards without the need for the complex emission-control technology (such as diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction) required for diesel trucks. The ISL G engine uses exhaust gas re-circulation and a three-way catalyst to achieve the required emission reductions.

An added bonus is that the city of Toronto is investigating ways to power the truck using organic materials collected from waste. In essence, the truck would be powered by what it picks up, creating a constant supply of fuel. Geoff Rathbone, General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services, said, “Pending results from a pilot program, the City hopes to convert biogas produced from digesting Green Bin organic material into compressed natural gas for distribution across Enbridge’s system. In essence, Toronto will be making its own natural gas. Our two Green Bin processing facilities have the potential to produce enough natural gas to take our entire fleet of 300 waste trucks off diesel. Creating natural gas from kitchen waste will be the first operation of its kind in North America.”

The green garbage truck will be part of Toronto’s medium- and heavy-duty truck fleet that, according to the city’s Green Fleet Plan 2008-2011, will make greatly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smog pollutants. “It is important to the City to pilot test vehicles with alternative fuel technologies before making a long-term commitment,” said Gerry Pietschmann, the City’s Fleet Services director. “The natural gas engine will allow the City to realize improved fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. We consider these important factors when making additions to our fleet.”

+ City of Toronto

Via Clean Break


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1 Comment

  1. Harvard Engineering Tea... December 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    […] Biogas is rapidly becoming a popular source of renewable energy, and now a team at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is investigating a method to use methane in laptop fuel cells and batteries. While methane is technically a fossil fuel (as a component of natural gas), it is also created during the break-down of biomass. With that in mind, the Harvard team are investigating a method to create fuel cells that are not only powered using renewable sources, but also don’t use expensive materials such as platinum. […]

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