September 21, 2020. Return-It is taking the next step in creating a greener beverage container recycling system in B.C. by introducing Canada’s first-of-its-kind compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrid-electric compaction truck.

In a pilot project launching this month, Return-It is beginning the decarbonization of its transportation fleet, which could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beverage container recycling by up to 25% and reduce the number of transport vehicles on the road.

“As the province’s leading product stewardship organization, we recognize we can do more to decarbonize our transportation network in order to make an even bigger impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” said Allen Langdon, President & CEO of Return-It. “As part of Return-It’s modernization program launched earlier this year, we are piloting this new technology as a first step towards transitioning our entire fleet.”

Supplied by Hyliion, a leader in electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles, the new CNG hybrid-electric drivetrain will not only release fewer emissions than existing diesel trucks but combined with compaction technology it will help reduce the number of vehicle trips required to take beverage containers from recycling depots to processing facilities. The truck is the first of its kind to incorporate an electric axle that optimizes the vehicle’s power and efficiency. The compaction trailer unit is manufactured by a Canadian equipment solutions and services company, NexGen Municipal, who has pioneered compaction technology.

The new truck will service 16 recycling depots throughout the Lower Mainland in the pilot phase, allowing Return-It to evaluate the technology and capture data to inform the next steps in its transition. Return-It will also use the pilot phase to work with FortisBC to identify opportunities to expand access to CNG throughout the province, such as the availability of CNG filling stations to supply Return-It’s fleet in the future.