Return-It Blog

Encorp Announces Expansion of Its CNG-Electric Hybrid Compaction Truck Fleet

Return-It is excited to announce the expansion of its compressed natural gas (CNG)-electric hybrid compaction truck fleet in its celebration of Canada’s Circular Economy Month. The company has received and added three new trucks to its dedicated transportation network – a move that drives the organization closer to the goal of decarbonizing various areas of operations. The three trucks, which will 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.

In September 2020, in a significant step towards creating a greener beverage container recycling system in B.C., Return-It and its partners launched Canada’s first-of-its-kind pilot program for specialized CNG-electric hybrid compaction trucks.

Compaction Trucks and Trailers

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.

“As the province’s leading product stewardship organization, we are committed to making a positive contribution to efforts mitigating our impact on the environment, including GHG emission reductions,” said 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 metric tons of GHG emissions, per CNG-electric hybrid vehicle on an annual basis through the use of a cleaner alternative fuel.”

FortisBC, a leading energy utility in the province, is providing the CNG fuel. FortisBC 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. Compressed natural gas cost-effectively improves the environmental performance of the transportation sector versus conventional fuels like diesel or gasoline.

“We are pleased to provide lower-carbon fuel and fuelling infrastructure so that Return-It can expand its CNG fleet,” says Georgina Wheatcroft, Account Manager for Low Carbon Transportation at 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 organization 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.”

Supplied by Hyliion, a leader in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles, the CNG-electric hybrid powertrains not only release fewer emissions than existing diesel trucks, but combined 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 travelled by 84,000 annually.

“Hyliion’s vision of a global net-carbon-negative commercial transportation industry can only become a reality when it’s strengthened by programs like Return-It that work to accelerate decarbonization through alternative fuels and innovative technology. I look forward to seeing Return-It further reduce its carbon footprint as it incorporates additional hybrid powertrains into its fleet,” said Thomas Healy, Hyliion Founder and CEO.

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.

Encorp's CNG-electric hybrid trucks were bought through First Truck Centre Vancouver. Encorp would like to thank them for their dedicated partnership.

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