For years now, many landfills from California to the Great Lakes have been collecting the natural methane biogas and using them to power homes and facilities. Now Toronto is readying its firstbiogas-capable garbage truck.
These new trucks will be equipped with a Cummins Westport ISL G engine. Now if you know engines, you’ve heard of Cummins. These badboys can run on natural gas or even biogas collected from local landfills around Toronto, and they make a ton of torque to haul all that waste far from your doorstep. Currently, this is a pilot program, part of Toronto’s Green Fleet Plan, and they have purchased just one truck. If the pilot program works out, they could buy several more.
Eventually, these trucks might even run on the organic waste they pick up from their stops around the city, sort of like the Mr. Fusion machine that powers the DeLorean from Back to the Future. The trucks have to prove themselves worthy though, as currently the methane is simply flared off. Another option is to sell the methane back to the natural gas company to offset heat used by government buildings. I like the garbage truck idea better, and I hope it works out for Toronto.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.