Norwalk buses to be fueled by garbage – Wave Newspapers

Written by – April 21, 2017

NORWALK — City officials need not worry about the higher cost of gasoline at the pump for their 34-vehicle fleet of fixed route buses. For the next five years they will run on a substance made from rotting garbage at landfills.The City Council April 18 contracted with Clean Energy Renewables, based in Newport Beach, to provide a type of natural gas fuel called Redeem, made from methane gas captured at landfills. Like compressed natural gas (CNG), renewable natural gas (RNG) is odorless and non-polluting. The contract is from May 1 to June 30, 2022.

“Redeem is the world’s first renewable fuel made entirely from organic waste for commercial vehicles,” Norwalk Transportation Director James C. Parker said in a report to the council.

“It is a bio-methane cost-efficient fuel available in North American and up to 70 percent cleaner than gasoline and diesel, making it a smart choice for natural gas vehicle fleets including heavy-duty-trucks.”

Parker said that 18 of the city’s fixed route buses use compressed natural gas and plans are to convert the remaining 16 to natural gas fuels by 2022.

However, the fuel will be Redeem, provided by Clean Energy, instead of the CNG now purchased from Southern California Gas Company, Parker said.

Parker said Norwalk buses use about 30,000 therms of natural gas a month, which equals about 280,000 gallons of gasoline.

He estimated that his department would save $72,000 over a three-year period with Redeem and be eligible for credits of $268,369 over a five-year period under the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program based on the city’s usage.

Clean Energy, which beat out one other bidder, will keep track of that usage with quarterly reports and required filings with the state board, Parker said.

He noted that Clean Energy currently provides renewable natural gas to 45 public CNG stations and 18 privately owned stations. That includes Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system and the Foothill Transit system.

“The future is now,” said Ryan Forrest, account manager for the Newport Beach firm on use of renewable gases.

Questioned by Vice Mayor Leonard Shryock, Forrest said the RNG would not harm the motors of buses currently using CNG.

Shryock wondered if waste-hauling companies would benefit financially from providing organic wastes, which naturally produce methane.

Forrest explained that the garbage must be dumped in a landfill in order to create methane gas.

Owners of landfills, such as the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts and the privately owned Puente Hills landfill, which closed in 2013, would earn revenue from companies which set up equipment there to catch and process the methane, City Manager Mike Egan said.

In another conservation move, the City Council took steps April 18 to reduce the amount of recycled water used to irrigate medians and public areas,

The council requested a federal grant of $75,000 from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, to replace existing irrigation controls with an automated Calsense Weather-Based Irrigation control, which manages sprinkler systems at eight parks.

Currently the sprinklers are on timers and turn on at certain times, regardless of the weather.

“The smart system uses iPads, or smart phones, to monitor weather and adjust or shut down sprinklers to avoid over-watering due to rain,” Deputy City Manager Gary DiCorpo said.

He said a pilot system used at Ramona Park in 2016 resulted in significant savings.

DiCorpo, who oversees public works, said the city’s water department listed a cost of $9,754 for irrigation at the parks in 2016 as compared to $14,024 in 2015.

The eight parks are Glazier, Hermosillo, Lakeside, New River, Sara Mendez, Norwalk, Vista Verde and Bob White. Total cost of the project is $150,000, DiCorpo said.

The council also hired David Volz Design to draw up plans for drought-tolerant plants on various medians in the city for a fee of $88,632.

 

Source: Norwalk buses to be fueled by rotting garbage – Wave Newspapers