Garbage to Gas: TCI Adds New CNG Station and Four CNG Trucks

10/2/2020

Tri-County Industries, Inc. is accelerating our commitment to the use of Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative fuel. This year, we are opening a new on-site CNG fueling station, as well as adding four new CNG vehicles to our fleet.

Garbage to Gas: How It Works

The new CNG Station is a compressed natural gas fueling station located onsite at Tri-County Industries, Inc. Gas emissions from Seneca Landfill, Inc. (TCI's sister company) are captured and converted into a usable form of gas, which is being used to power the Vogel Holding, Inc. fleet of CNG vehicles (as well as other public and private vehicles).

But how does a landfill become a renewable energy resource? When organic matter ends up in a landfill, it breaks down over time. As it breaks down, it generates gases, including methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas capable of contributing to global warming. This gas needs to be diverted from entering the atmosphere.

Traditionally, landfills have used flares to burn off excess methane and CO2 in the air. This helps reduce odors around landfills and other hazards associated with landfill gases, while also preventing it from migrating into the atmosphere. But in burning off the gas, a valuable resource is wasted. That's why Seneca Landfill, Inc. captures methane, converts it into a clean form of natural gas, and uses it as a renewable energy resource. 

The landfill gas is currently recovered through a system of gas extraction wells populated throughout the landfill. The gas is processed through a variety of systems removing contaminants and moisture. The methane leaves the plant as clean, usable biogas.

Vogel's first CNG fueling station opened at Seneca Landfill, Inc. in 2019. Both fueling stations are now open for public and private use. These fueling stations provide the opportunity for smaller local haulers to utilize an established CNG fueling station, thus making it easier for local haulers and other fleet operators to also convert to CNG.

The new CNG station closes the loop and allows Tri-County Industries, Inc. to power our fleet more sustainably and responsibly.

Driving Into a Sustainable Future

In October, TCI added four new CNG vehicles to our fleet. The new additions consist of two residential and two commercial trucks.

These new vehicles are part of a growing fleet of CNG trucks within the Vogel Holding, Inc. family of companies. Together, the Vogel companies have 62 CNG trucks on the road, 16 of which are at Tri-County Industries, Inc.

Based on annual mileage records, the current diesel fueled waste collection vehicles within the fleet travel an average of 50,000 to 60,000 miles per year. At an average fuel economy of 2.5MPG for each waste collection vehicle, the new CNG powered vehicles will reduce diesel fuel consumption by approximately 250,000 gallons of diesel fuel. This equates to a total greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 389 metric tons per year. This reduction is equivalent to planting 9,972 trees, removing 82 cars from the road, or recycling an extra 140 tons of waste.

Tri-County Industries, Inc. has been a two-time recipient of the Wolf Administration's Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIGs). The grants are awarded to projects that will help improve air quality and public health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Funds from these grants have been used to expand the CNG fleet and CNG infrastructure.