Norwalk buses to be fueled by rotting garbage

May 12, 2017. 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.