Return-It adding CNG trucks to fleet

Return-It added three new compressed natural gas (CNG)-electric hybrid compaction trucks to its fleet.

The three trucks, which join an existing fleet, will lower greenhouse gas emissions from beverage container transportation by up to 25% while at the same time reducing the number of transport vehicles on the road.

The CNG-electric hybrid powertrains supplied by Hyliion, help the Class 8 commercial vehicles release fewer emissions than existing diesel trucks, but with new and powerful compaction technology, they help reduce the number of vehicle trips required to take beverage containers from recycling depots to processing facilities. Adding the three CNG-electric hybrid compaction trucks reduces the number of kilometres needed to be travelled by 84,000 annually.

In September 2020, Return-It and its partners launched Canada’s first pilot program for specialized CNG-electric hybrid compaction trucks. Since that first truck hit the road, approximately 150 million plastic bottles have been compacted as of September 2022.

With the success of the pilot program, Return-It is making the program permanent, and expanding the fleet to four CNG-electric hybrid trucks and three compaction trailers.

With the new trucks, service collection will gradually increase from 17 to 48 recycling depots throughout the Lower Mainland, with the goal of expanding across more communities, province-wide.

“We are committed to making a positive contribution to efforts mitigating our impact on the environment, including GHG emission reductions,” said Return-It president and CEO Cindy Coutts.

“The success of our pilot program proved our investment in new technology was returning significant economic and environmental results. We have saved 69 tonnrs of GHG emissions per CNG-electric hybrid vehicle on an annual basis through the use of a cleaner alternative fuel.”

FortisBC is providing the CNG fuel. It works with large commercial fleet customers, government and municipalities to advance natural gas as a lower-carbon fuel that addresses the heavy duty needs of commercial transportation operations.

“We are pleased to provide lower-carbon fuel and fuelling infrastructure so that Return-It can expand its CNG fleet,” says Sarah Smith, director, low carbon transportation and LNG business growth for FortisBC.

“We appreciate working with a company that shares our commitment to decarbonization through the use of innovative technology to support lower-carbon and cost-effective fuels.”

“Transportation contributes to 40% of British Columbia’s overall GHG emissions and it is our goal province-wide to reduce these emissions by 40% by 2030,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

“We are excited to see organizations like Return-It adopting new low-carbon technologies in CNG-electric hybrid vehicles for their heavy-duty fleets. We need to work collectively towards transitioning towards zero-emission vehicles and welcome the benefits of this expansion.”