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Progressive Waste Solutions revs up use of natural gas powered collection vehicles

Left to right: Grant Hankins of Progressive Waste Solutions, Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam, and Councillor Brent Asmundson of Coquitlam. Below: Mayor Stewart at the fuelling site.
Left to right: Grant Hankins of Progressive Waste Solutions, Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam, and Councillor Brent Asmundson of Coquitlam. Below: Mayor Stewart at the fuelling site.

Progressive Waste Solutions announced in December, 2014 the official opening of its natural gas fuelling station facility in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The new operation now services the largest fleet of natural gas powered waste and recycling collection vehicles in B.C., and the largest in Canada.

“Our announcement demonstrates our commitment to being a leader in the waste services sector, providing our customers the best service in the most sustainable way possible,” said Grant Hankins, district manager for Progressive Waste Solutions. “We are proud to have the largest fleet of natural-gas powered waste and recycling collection vehicles in British Columbia and Canada.”

Progressive Waste services the cities of Coquitlam and nearby Surrey, as well as commercial customers, with 77 waste and recycling collection trucks powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). The company says their CNG-powered trucks deliver distinct environmental benefits to the local communities and the region as a whole, as they reduce smog-causing nitrogen oxides and diesel particulate matter by over 90 percent, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent, when compared to older diesel trucks.

“We’re pretty proud to have this natural gas fuelling station right here in Coquitlam, fuelling the trucks that serve our residents,” said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart. “Natural gas provides many benefits over other fuels; it’s a progressive fuel choice that we’re happy to embrace for our waste collection.” The trucks are powered by technology developed by Cummins Westport of Vancouver and fuelled with natural gas from FortisBC – making the whole operation a “made-in-B.C. success story.”

“Since 2009, FortisBC has been supporting the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel solution in B.C.,” said Vito Triggiano, the company’s senior manager, business development. “We’re pleased to team up with Progressive Waste Solutions to invest in this cleaner burning fuel.”

The CNG-powered collection vehicles are part of a corporate initiative announced by Progressive Waste Solutions in May, 2013 to convert the company’s collection fleet from diesel-power to natural gas powered vehicles. Since announcing the initiative, the company has added nearly 250 natural-gas powered trucks to its waste and recycling collection fleet, and now runs close to 400 natural-gas powered vehicles in 11 different markets throughout North America.

Progressive Waste Solutions typically purchases 300 to 400 trucks per year through the normal replacement of its fleet and is on track to have up to 55 percent of the total number of vehicles it replaces annually in Canada and the U.S. fuelled by CNG. By 2019, the company expects 18 to 20 percent of its fleet to be powered by natural gas. While Progressive admits that a new waste or recycling collection truck powered by natural gas typically costs about 15 percent more than a conventional diesel-powered truck, because natural gas costs less than diesel, they expect a return on this investment within an attractive time frame.

Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam fuelling CNG powered vehicle.

Progressive Waste Solutions typically purchases 300 to 400 trucks per year through the normal replacement of its fleet and is on track to have up to 55 percent of the total number of vehicles it replaces annually in Canada and the U.S. fuelled by CNG. By 2019, the company expects 18 to 20 percent of its fleet to be powered by natural gas. While Progressive admits that a new waste or recycling collection truck powered by natural gas typically costs about 15 percent more than a conventional diesel-powered truck, because natural gas costs less than diesel, they expect a return on this investment within an attractive time frame.

Progressive Waste says the switch to natural gas has become simpler over the last several years, as they can now economically build and operate their own fuelling stations. The company plans to continue adding to its fuelling capacity as it advances in the conversion of its fleet.

In 2013, Progressive Waste Solutions took part in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) climate change program, designed to facilitate the management of greenhouse gas emissions and identify the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. The company achieved a score in the top 10 percent of firms sampled in the CDP’s Canada 200 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, and credits the CNG fleet conversion program and increase in the use of CNG-powered vehicles to have played a significant role in the designation.

Company info

400 Applewood Crescent, 2nd Floor
Vaughan, ON
CA, L4K 0C3

Website:
progressivewaste.com

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