Beverage container recycling firm adds Canada’s first CNG hybrid truck


In a pilot project launching in October, Return-It is beginning the decarbonization of its transportation fleet in British Columbia by introducing Canada’s first-of-its-kind CNG hybrid-electric compaction truck. This initiative could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beverage container recycling by up to 25% and reduce the number of transport vehicles on the road. Return-It is playing a critical role in helping B.C. realize the goals established in the Province’s CleanBC Plan.

“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, 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 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.

“Heavy duty diesel trucks are responsible for nearly a quarter of all transportation emissions in B.C.,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Organizations like Return-It who are embracing new technologies in CNG hybrid-electric vehicles for their return-to-base fleets are helping the transition to lower and zero-emissions trucking, and helping us meet our CleanBC goals.”

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