Heiberg Garbage & Recycling
(HGR) is not only picking up refuse and recyclables in the Portland area, it’s now cleaning up the metropolitan air shed and helping with noise reduction. HGR currently operates 5 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled garbage trucks and it’s own private CNG fueling station in Milwaukie, Oregon. HGR is adding 5 additional CNG trucks to its fleet in 2015. This is a big step in the right direction for a locally family owned and operated company. Although there is a large initial capitol investment to make this change, HGR feels our customers and environment are worth it.
Co-owner Bruce Heiberg says,
“Our trucks drive by, idle, stop and start in front of every customer’s house every week, year around. The CNG trucks are much quieter than normal diesel trucks, plus clean air matters to our customers as much as it does to us and they will see us reducing those diesel soot and particulate emissions every week. And, the global warming gas reductions, although invisible, show up too. This is the right thing to do and it costs less in the long run. That savings is also passed onto our customers in the rates.”
This is a success story…
where a cleaner fuel is less expensive, better for our community health and air quality all while reducing global warming gas emissions by as much as 25%. Fuel cost savings of up to a dollar, per gallon equivalent, add up quick when your typical refuse truck runs 12,000 miles per year, at between two and three miles per gallon. By the end of 2015, Heiberg’s CNG fleet will be displacing over 60,000 gallons of petroleum diesel annually (10 trucks @ 4,700 DGE/yr) with cleaner burning, lower cost, North American CNG. That amount will grow each year as new CNG trucks are added and will be over 100,000 gallons of diesel displaced each year in 2020.
At this fleet average fuel use, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions equivalent (global warming gas) reduction per truck is estimated at 1 ton per year. Nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions reductions are estimated at just under a half a ton per year per truck while carbon monoxide (CO) reductions are expected to be over 150 pounds per year. Other pollutant emission reductions include particulate matter and volatile organic compounds.
The lower fuel cost, cleaner combustion and lower emissions benefits are already being experienced by HGR and it’s customers. Some of those benefits include:
- HGR was one of the first collection companies in Oregon to operate a CNG truck. Early adoption and promotion of a cleaner fuel fleet will help accelerate and support alternative fuel adoption by other interested fleets and private parties.
- The site of HGR’s fueling station, and planned expansion of fueling capacity, is ideally situated in a light-industrial area where roadway infrastructure provides good access and where numerous heavy and medium duty fleets operate daily. Many of those may soon choose to use this site for fueling or see a viable model for converting their fleets to use CNG or other alternative fuels.
- CNG trucks in the fleet are proving quite reliable and all indications are that these cleaner burning engines are reducing our maintenance costs and will have longer engine life.
- Customers are particularly interested in seeing local diesel particulate and hydrocarbon emissions reduction in their neighborhoods. HGR is a model of how that can be economically accomplished while providing the same great service. And, customers will see and appreciate it every day their collection service is provided.
- As the HGR fleet grows, the cumulative petroleum diesel displacement over the next five years of some 450,000 gallons will improve domestic fuel security, reduce fleet operating cost and substantially reduce CO2, particulate and other hydrocarbon emissions.
- Annual natural gas rates provide a more stable fuel price than the volatility experienced in petroleum pricing that will benefit franchise agreements, reduce long-term costs for consumers and improve business cost forecasting. Even with petroleum diesel down to $3 a gallon, CNG still costs less when accounting for all the costs of fueling and maintenance.
Heiberg Garbage & Recycling is committed to conversion of it’s fleet to CNG fuels. As a small business and early adopter, we welcome and need participation by the State of Oregon and other fleets to make these innovative investments and have a reliable distributed CNG fueling infrastructure. HGR accepts its role in the early development of Oregon’s CNG, and other alternative fuel markets, as innovators, promoters, supporters and leaders. We have gained valuable experience and look forward to sharing that experience with State and other fleet managers as we all transition to cleaner, more economical and beneficial domestic fuels.
Links to more information on compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel include:
Case studies and research on CNG economics and benefits include:
Effects of Natural Gas Vehicles and Fuel Prices on Key Transportation Economic Metrics, July 2014, a report to Washington Department of Transportation by Kevin Heaslip Ph.D., PE, Ryan Bosworth Ph.D., Ryan Barnes, Ali Soltani Sobh, Michael Thomas Ph.D., and Zigi Song Ph.D. – Utah Transportation Center, Utah State University
Natural Gas-powered refuse truck use flourishes in U.S., August 2013, American Recycler News
Republic adds 20 CNG Refuse Trucks in Missouri, December 2014, Green Fleets Magazine
Case Study – Compressed Natural Gas Refuse Trucks, February 2014, U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Exhausted by Diesel: How America’s Dependence on Diesel Engines Threatens Our Health, June 1998, by Gina M. Solomon, Todd R. Campbell, Tim Carmichael, Gail Ruderman-Feuer and Janet S. Hathaway for Natural Resources Defense Council
 Based on Argonne National Laboratories GREET well to wheel emissions reduction model for Pacific Northwest fuels. https://greet.es.anl.gov