Cow manure gives power to Ontario’s first carbon-negative refuse truck


Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA), Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) and Enbridge Gas have announced the first-in-Ontario, carbon-negative refuse truck, fuelled by renewable natural gas (RNG) produced by a local Ontario farm from largely cow manure. 

How it works: The decomposition of agricultural waste generates methane gas, which is converted into RNG and used in place of diesel fuel. Diverting methane emissions that would otherwise be released into the air combined with eliminating CO2 emissions from diesel fuel results in negative carbon emissions while also diverting farm waste and supporting local economic development.

“This project is a natural next step in the progressive conversion of our fleet from diesel to a cleaner energy source. We want to use cleaner renewable energy sources to serve our communities while continuing to strive for a more circular economy in all aspects of our operations and help to ensure our municipal members meet their environmental commitments. Having a clean, renewable and local source of energy for our fleet embodies everything the BRA believes in,” said Francis Veilleux, president of Bluewater Recycling Association.

According to Enbridge Gas, the BRA’s RNG truck will displace CO2 emissions from 18,000 litres of diesel in its first six months.

Furthermore, RNG trucks are half the cost of electric trucks and are priced similar to diesel trucks and can replace them without compromising performance.

Like diesel, RNG operates during freezing weather conditions and refuelling takes minutes.

Today, there are more than 110 operating RNG facilities in North America, with ten of those in Canada. There are over 30 RNG projects in various stages of development or construction in Ontario.

“The accelerating growth of RNG production in Ontario enables waste industry organizations like BRA to demonstrate leadership in displacing diesel. 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,” said Michele Harradence, president of Enbridge Gas

“This is a great example of how Ontario can both address climate change and build our economy through innovation. I want to thank Enbridge Gas, the Ontario Waste Management Association and the Bluewater Recycling Association for their leadership to reduce emissions and create a cleaner Ontario for future generations,” said the Honourable David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“Renewable natural gas is making a difference in communities across Ontario and contributing to green innovation in our energy sector. Leveraging the power of RNG as a flexible and reliable energy source means less waste and lower emissions,” added the Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

Municipalities and businesses who operate fleets of waste collection vehicles like BRA and other OWMA members can achieve a zero-carbon footprint using RNG fuel, affordably and practically, without sacrificing performance, reliability, or range.

According to Enbridge, its turnkey, all-inclusive program and collaboration with governments and partners lends to advancing innovative energy solutions and helping fleets switch to green RNG—a cost-effective, low-carbon alternative to diesel fuel.

In addition to RNG for transport, Enbridge Gas offers a new “Voluntary RNG” program which gives customers the 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.