MARCH 2010

SWACO adds CNG powered vehicle to fleet

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio’s (SWACO) Green Energy Center, located in Grove City, Ohio, turns landfill methane gas from decomposing trash into compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in cars and trucks.

The truck:  Peterbilt 320 Chassis, McNeilus 4385 cab and a Cummins ISL-G 320 h.p./2200 rpm engine, a dedicated CNG engine.

SWACO’s Franklin County Landfill has been plumbed to harvest the methane as trash breaks down. Using Ohio-developed technology, The Green Energy Center cleans the gas to pipeline quality and then compresses it for vehicle use.

This green fuel has already been put to use in SWACO’s fleet. CNG powered Honda Civics, light to medium duty Chevy and Ford pick-up trucks, a packer truck used for recycling collections, and even a riding lawnmower fill up at The Green Energy Center pump. Honda claims that CNG burns 75 percent cleaner in its vehicles.

At full capacity, phase one of the center can produce 250,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG. EPA estimates show that phase one has the same benefits as removing the annual emissions of 6,503 passenger vehicles, sequestering as much carbon annually as 8,070 acres of pine or fir forests, reducing CO2 emissions equal to 82,577 barrels of oil or reducing CO2 emissions equal to 4,030,423 gallons of gasoline.

Construction on phase two of the center is expected to begin soon. That portion of the project will be owned and operated by SWACO partner, FirmGreen. When completed, The Green Energy Center will utilize all of the landfill gas available and have a capacity of 5 to 10 million gasoline gallon equivalents. However, gas from phase two could be directed to local utility pipelines.