The History of the Automated Side Loader – How One Small City Changed The Industry Forever


The modern refuse truck operator has it pretty easy today compared to his peers of yesteryear. Gone are the days of the “Vic Tanney” bodies and the driver lugging around 55 gallon drums on their backs. For haulers and drivers who collected trash for the majority of their lives, they were lucky if they could continue to stand up straight by the time they were 50 and their bodies weren’t completely broken. In 1968, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the injury rate among refuse collectors was higher than the rate for coal miners, police officer, firefighter or loggers. A report put out between 1969 to 1971 showed that nationally there were 98.8 disabling accidents per million man hours worked in refuse collection. Those numbers are staggering when compared with the next closest industry, police departments, which had 48.15 accidents per million man hours. A fact not surprising considering the nature of the job. Workers were required to jump on and off the truck continually, handle hundreds of containers, many of which were overweight and easy to drop.

An average worker could lift up to 6 tons a day and walk up to 11 miles in all type of weather, which led to multiple injuries and massive insurance claims to the hauler (if they offered insurance) and time away from work. This is why, even today, refuse collection is listed in the Top 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Why do you think so many of the articles in this publication and those like it are filled with safety related items? It’s a major concern and issue even with the advanced technology modern refuse trucks are built upon.

Now there has always been a drive in the industry from the truck manufacturers to deliver the highest compaction body to maximize on-route time over the competition yet they all required one key ingredient before the early 1980s: manual loading. Commercial collection already saw vast improvements in safety, productivity and cleanliness with the introduction of the Front End Loaders (the industry’s first automated truck) in the 1950s. Unfortunately, residential drivers wouldn’t start seeing some relief for another few decades. Let’s explore this history more in-depth.

Automated Side Loader

The City that Birthed a Revolution

Scottsdale, Arizona, a town northeast of Phoenix, incorporated in 1954 with a population of 2,032. After having a major annexation in 1961 that more than doubled its population, the city took over refuse collection from private contractors in March 1964. From 1960 to 1970, the city population increased from 10,026 to 67,823. The new Refuse Division was put under the direction of Marc Stragier, the director of Public Works. Looking at all the available systems at the time, Scottsdale chose to use the recently developed “Refuse Train” system used in many parts of the country. Even though the Train method was an improvement over the use of rear loaders, it still carried all the negative attributes of manual collection. Scottsdale also experienced a high personnel turnover rate due to the 110+ degree working conditions during summer months.

In 1965, the City Manager, Assistant City manager and three Department Heads formed a brainstorming club apart from the city to develop and promote new ideas. They called themselves Government Innovators and among some of the ideas to emerge was the concept of mechanized refuse collection. After searching for a body manufacturer to partner and develop the idea with, Marc found George Morrison, owner of Western Body and Hoist in Los Angeles. After some convincing and motivation, the creative juices in George’s head started to flow and a few months later, George and his lead engineer Otto Ganter met with Marc to show him a concept idea called the “Barrel Snatcher” based off their Wesco-Jet Front Loader platform.

Taking the idea and drawing to Bill Donaldson, Scottsdale City Manager for final approval, the City applied for a Federal grant to develop a mechanized residential refuse collection system. After the initial application was sent back, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare sent a representative down to help edit and draft a second application. The new application proposed a two-phase demonstration: Phase 1—to determine if the concept was practical using city provided containers and if successful; Phase 2—build the sophisticated Barrel Snatcher truck to prove mechanized collection was economical and cost effective. The second draft was approved and awarded in February 1969 with the grant period lasting from March 1969 to June 1972.

Automated Side Loader

Phase 1: Godzilla

Now faced with building a proof of concept truck, it was decided to use a 1964 International Lodal Front Loader not in active service as the test bed. Marc designed the mechanical grabber assembly to attach to the front of the arms and after $2,000 in repairs were made to the truck to make it useable, construction and modifications began. The mechanic in charge of creating the grabber assembly, Chuck Kalinowski, remembers constructing the mechanism, “I didn’t know that Marc was in the shop one day and I was working on the slide, trying to figure out what he wanted there for the arm to grab the container. So I tried two or three different things, you know, just things we had around the place here. I said ‘Aw, for crying out loud, they want you to build something but they won’t give you the material, they want you to build a darned monster… a Godzilla!’ Marc was standing right behind me and from that time on, that’s what it was called.”

After some trial and error, Godzilla was finally ready to go on route in August 1969. The first container it picked up slipped through the grabber and fell into the hopper. Next, the brakes locked up and truck couldn’t be moved. After modifications and repairs, the truck operated for the next six months proving the concept of mechanized collection was sound.

An often overlooked aspect of creating and later adopting a mechanized collection system is the container cost associated with it. For the city, to order a “set” of containers and collection trucks ran about $40,000 (pre-additional modification) for equipment and about $120,000 the containers in 1970 dollars. Scottsdale had many alley routes and after a survey, they decided to use container sizes of 80, 160 and 300 gallons for collection service. The size of the container the customer received was determined by the number of days picked up, either once or twice, and the number of houses per container: one, two or four. It broke down to each household receiving at least 160 gallons of refuse capacity per week. County Plastics was initially awarded the contract for 350 containers in each of the three sizes. After the Phase 1 trials were complete, it was determined that the 80 and 300 gallon containers were the most effective. 300 gallons were used on alley streets while the 80-gallon shined the best for street-side collection. Godzilla and later Son of Godzilla was the most successful in the alleys with the 300 gallon, but too slow and bulky for the 80 gallon service.

Automated Side Loader

Phase 2: Son of Godzilla

Western Body and Hoist’s Barrel Snatcher was a modified version of their Wesco-Jet Front Loader. The Wesco Jet was a 35yd full pack body that evenly distributed the weight over two axles with four super single tires and a specialized cab designed and engineered jointly by Reo Motors and Western. Complete with an Allison automatic transmission and a narrow, air conditioned telephone booth cab, the Barrel Snatcher weighed in empty at 22,500 lbs. and had a GVWR of 36,500 on the two axles. With three years of engineering going into its design, the Barrel Snatcher featured an 8-foot boom, which could extend out to 12 feet to grab the 300 gallon containers. Cycle time from pick up to set down was only 20 seconds.

Modifications and improvements were required after the first unit went online in October 1970. A joystick was added later to help improve operator control as the boom had a tendency to knock down fences in the alleys due to the uncontrollability of the rotary motor that swung it. The frame at the base of the boom was beefed up due to frequent cracking due to weight, in addition to a heavier duty rotary motor that swung the heavy boom. The extension cylinder was moved to the outside of the boom to reduce the six hour repair time needed to get at it when it was mounted inside. The city sent these lists of improvements to Western to be implemented on the second truck they ordered.

Due to the national popularity of the Phase 1 Godzilla truck, the Barrel Snatcher was affectionately called the “Son of Godzilla”, which only served to fuel local and national interest in what Scottsdale was trying to do. The city invested a lot of time and effort to sell the new concept to the public and they constantly fielded requests from foreign dignitaries, state and city governments to come and personally view the trucks in action and on route.

During the construction of the second Barrel Snatcher, George Morrison’s partner and co-owner was killed in an accident. In order to provide and take care of his partner’s widow, George decided to sell the company to Maxon Industries in December 1970. After study, Maxon expressed no desire to continue development, sales or orders for Barrel Snatcher concept with the City, although they did agree to honor the original contract for two additional trucks. The City received many postponements and delay’s from Maxon and finally threatened to sue for breach of contract. None of the improvements recommended by the city were implemented in the second truck when it was delivered in May 1971. The mechanics were well versed in the necessary improvements and changes needed to be made and when the second truck started going on route, the original Godzilla that was built to last six months of the concept phase was finally retired after two years on route.

Automated Side Loader

The Concept Fully Realized

After Phase 2 was complete and the third and final Barrel Snatcher was delivered from Maxon in 1973 (two years after it had been ordered), the city continued to improve upon the arm design and even modified three city owned Wesco-Jet Front Loaders to Barrel Snatcher configuration in-house to expand their growing mechanized routes. However, they realized a more permanent solution was needed when it came time to start replacing their aging fleet. Marc Straiger continued to work on designs for an improved automated arm that could be fit to different side load bodies and was not specific to the now discontinued Maxon Wesco-Jet. He designed a prototype to be tested on one of the city’s experimental truck beds and it later came to be known as the “Rapid Rail” arm. It consisted of a grabber assembly with rollers on the rear which allowed it to slide up and down the rail that curved at the top to invert and empty the container.

The city eventually ended up abandoning the project, yet a few companies had taken the idea for Marc’s “Rapid Rail” and developed it into an effective system by 1978. Government Innovators (now a fully realized company), Arizona Special Projects and Ebeling Manufacturing Corp (EMCO) all offered a version of this arm to the public. EMCO was the first company to offer market ready automated packages with their arm design based on Straiger’s “Rapid Rail” for commercial side load dumpsters. However, their arm could be easily modified with “Rapid Rail” grippers for cart collection. Maxon, who had no interest in pursuing further Barrel Snatcher product development with the city after their purchase of Western, finally saw the future in automation and offered their integrated Eagle cab and body truck with an arm copy of the Rapid Rail by 1980.

When it came time for the city to start replacing their worn out fleet of Barrel Snatchers in 1978, they turned to International Harvester chassis with Norcal Waste Equipment 24yd bodies fitted with a modified EMCO lift arm. Each truck cost the city $58,000, which was a bargain compared to the last Barrel Snatcher that cost a low estimate of $63,230. What many people don’t know is that Norcal in Oakland, CA was started after the sale of Western by Otto Ganter, the lead engineer and designer of the Barrel Snatcher.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In 1980, the city did a comparison to see if the mechanized trucks lived up to their original idea and potential. The numbers were quite staggering and especially in an unforgiving climate like Southern Arizona, well worth the effort and money spent. According to the records and findings from the city: in 1968, 34 men were employed to collect 17,800 homes twice a week. By 1980, 13 residential routes were needed to collect 24,000 homes twice weekly with 13 drivers. The city estimated that if the train method was still being used in 1980, 18 pickup trucks, 72 trailers, seven front loaders and more than 60 men would be required. The injury rate was also reduced from 36 preventable injuries a year average using the train system to only 1 in 1980.

Production rates also increased per man. In 1968, the average was 95 tons per man compared to 212 tons by 1980. They also showed a drastic reduction in employee turnover from 91 percent in 1986 to one employee who left and transferred to another department within the city. While some of the costs of running more advanced trucks were passed on to the residents in terms of monthly collection cost, the state of their streets, alleys and roadways was greatly improved over manual collection, which often left trash and debris in its wake. Their aggressive advertisement and citizen buyoff of the program went a long way to mitigate the town’s outcry over the increase in cost.

Slow to Catch On

Throughout the 1980s, body manufacturers continued to develop and improve the automated arm. For the average hauler, however, it was a gigantic investment in new fleets and carts—one that they were hesitant to make. Municipalities were some of the early adopters to automation due to the fact that they could justify the initial investment by projecting the savings over long term. Automated technology didn’t really take hold nationwide until the 1990s when the technology and arms were more proven and reliable. Even today, the arm design on an ASL is the most competitive feature builders continue to refine and market. Some builders have multiple arm or gripper designs available for customers to choose from, each with their own unique use and application. Also, many haulers tend to stick to one design because it’s a system they adopted early on and know and trust. I can say with absolute confidence that there is no “best arm and gripper” on the market. Each has their strengths in different conditions (alley, confined space, parked cars) and some perform better than others. The Automated Side Loader is still the new kid on the block compared to the rest of the refuse truck styles and there hasn’t been an “industry” standard design established yet. But next time you see one on the road or hop in one to run your route, think about the blood, sweat and cursing a special group of men invested to make your lives a little bit easier and a whole lot safer.

Zachary Geroux is a videographer, photographer, historian and owner of Refuse Truck Photography, which focuses on media and marketing for the Waste Industry. He lives in Western Washington with his wife and newborn son who will soon fall in love with garbage trucks. Currently, he works full time for the Air Force and is focused on growing his business. He has been driving garbage trucks off and on for the past 10 years and considers it the best job he’s ever had. He can be reached at (541) 301-1507, via e-mail at Zachary@refusetruckphotography.com or visit www.refusetruckphotography.com.

*Special thanks to the City of Scottsdale for sending me years and years ago their self-published booklet “Revolutionizing an Industry.” Without this amazing documentation of strife and effort to create and field this system, this article and the knowledge contained within might have been lost forever to the coming generations.

Reposted by WIH Resource Group
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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

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7 Tips To Increase Your Productivity


With more demands, and what seems like less time, we are all looking for ways to increase productivity during our work days. Here are 7 simple tips to give you back some control in your work day and help you become more productive.
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1. Create a To-Do list
Before you start each day, make a list of your must do items. This keeps you on task and can bring you back to focus when you keep your list in front of you while working. We suggest you make it a paper list so it is visible at all time.
2. Take breaks
We all seem to overwork ourselves and don’t realize when we need a break. Allow yourself to take breaks when you find that you are getting overwhelmed, stressed, if you start losing concentration, or just need to clear your mind for a few minutes. Step away from your desk take a walk around the office or just stand up and stretch.
3. Weed out distractions
Social Media, push notifications and today’s technology make it easy to have constant distractions. Turn off the notifications on your phone and computer except for crucial appointment reminders so you are not constantly distracted. It is easy to get side tracked from one text or notification and realize 20 minutes later that you have completely lost focus.
4. Designate time to read emails
Allow yourself to check emails in the morning, after lunch and before you leave the office. When you are constantly checking your inbox and reading or replying to every email, it sucks down your productivity time. If you are sending out emails and need them to be responded to promptly, assign a Priority tag to them.
5. Sleep early and get up early
Take a look at every top executive, CEO or successful businessperson and you will find that they all have one main thing in common – they wake up early. Waking up early gives them time to get their morning started without being rushed, stressed and limited on time. Going to bed early ensures they are rested and recharged to start the next day.
6. Focus on one thing at a time
We have all heard that multitasking is detrimental for productivity. It reduces the performance of any task that we do when not being fully focused. Studies have shown that our brain is strained when we are constantly shifting between multiple tasks at one time. Would you rather complete one task with excellent results, or 3 things with mediocre results?
7. De-clutter and organize your environment
When you are working in a cluttered environment, it creates unnecessary stress on your mind and body. It is like having a stack of unopened mail that you know you need to get to. Not to mention, it is a distraction. Clean up your workspace so you can stay focused and more productive.
These tips are provided to you by WIH Resource Group, Inc
WIH Resource Group provides the following useful tips to improve your productivity.

Source: WIH Resource Group

Contact WIH Resource Group
For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

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More information on WIH Resource Group and its services can be found at www.wihrg.com.

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WIH Resource Group Launches New Dynamic Website


Phoenix, AZ — March 28, 2016—WIH Resource Group, Inc. (http://wihrg.com/) has kick-started its 2016 marketing campaign with a new, vibrant, and fully revamped and informative website.   “We’ve worked hard to deliver a website that can inform and inspire across our diverse client base and we are delighted with the results. We hope it answers a lot of the questions that we are commonly asked, and goes a long way to demonstrating the firm’s capabilities, expertise and experience” said Bob Wallace, President and Founder of WIH Resource Group.

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WIH Resource Group was founded in 2005 and is renowned for its exemplary service and industry individuality. Wallace explains, “We are a professional, innovative organization that focuses on giving our clients a high-quality, personalized customer experience and we want that level of care to remain synonymous with the WIH Resource Group name.”

“Our broad range of services allows us to offer our clients a full service package. We wanted a new website that reflects our professionalism, specifies our accreditations, introduces our exceptional team and gives some insight to our current clients, our meaningful partners, and our diverse areas of expertise. We’ve more than met that in the new website, which sums up the WIH Resource Group ethos perfectly.” said Wallace.  It also features downloadable Industry White Papers http://www.wihrg.com/onlinestore.html

About WIH Resource Group

WIH Resource Group is an American based leading global independent provider of environmental, waste management, recycling, transportation, financial and logistical solutions.  The company also provides its clients with strategic consulting solutions in alternative vehicle fuels, fleet management, operations, M&A transactional support, surveying and polling, collection vehicle route auditing, expert witness and transportation matters for corporations, federal, state, and local government clients.

WIH looks to establish long term relationships with their clients where they are called upon regularly to assist in developing viable and sustainable solutions.

For additional information, visit the new website http://wihrg.com/

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How Banning Food Waste from Landfills Affects the Industry


As a way to reduce the amount of waste sent to its landfills, Maine legislators have begun looking for ways to require composting for food and other organic wastes.

Food Waste - WIH Resource GroupOriginally included in LD 1578, sponsored by Sen. Tom Saviello, (R-Wilton), a mandate required those producing more than one ton of food waste to divert it from landfills by sending it to a composting facility within 20 miles. But Maine officials will have to find other ways to divert food waste because the mandate was recently removed from the bill.

“It had nothing to do with the merits of the proposal itself. It was more political. There was fear that including a ‘mandate’ in the bill would make it difficult to pass, and would definitely prompt a veto,” says Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Project director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “This was an omnibus waste bill, so they took it out to preserve the rest of the bill that they had a better chance of passing. The committee also thinks that they can bring it back for consideration in 2017 as its own bill. The start date of the ban wasn’t until 2020 anyway, so even with the delay in enactment, it could still start at the same time or sooner.”

Although Maine may have to wait until next year to decide the fate of food waste, the idea behind the ban raises some questions within the waste and recycling industry.“The original intent was to urge the largest producers of food waste to stop wasting; which would in turn help spur development in composting infrastructure in Maine,” says Lakeman. “We have adequate infrastructure now, but we need to expand it to make it more cost effective for everyone to participate. Particularly by lowering or sharing in transportation costs, and decreasing the distance traveled to a composting facility.”

Michael Van Brunt, director of sustainability for Morristown, N.J.-based Covanta Energy, says that states look to these types of bans to reuse, recycle and repurpose food waste and other organics to generate clean energy and rich, fertile compost, instead of wasting it in landfills.

“Diverting food wastes from landfills will require an investment in infrastructure, suitable time to implement, and an appropriate regulatory system to ensure compliance,” he says. “However, local and state policies can provide the impetus to facilitate food waste diversion. States like Vermont, Connecticut, California and Massachusetts have all adopted policies aimed at increasing food waste diversion, focusing first, like the Maine proposal, on large generators of food wastes. The European Union’s Landfill Directive, which reduced the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfills, has significantly contributed to the growth of sustainable waste management: more recycling, composting and energy recovery, and far less landfilling.”

Van Brunt also says he thinks banning food waste from landfills would have a positive impact on the waste and recycling industry.

“The most common alternatives for landfilling food waste are composting and anaerobic digestion, both of which are considered recycling when the residues are reused as compost or fertilizer. Banning food waste from landfills may also have the impact of reducing waste and possibly encouraging food reuse programs, even better than recycling,” he says.

“There is also the added benefit of avoiding significant greenhouse gases that are generated when food waste biodegrades in landfills,” he adds. “Reducing the amount of food waste deposited in landfills can significantly reduce the generation of methane a highly potent greenhouse gas, 34 times more potent than CO2 over 100 years, and more than 80 times as potent over a shorter 20 year time frame. Methane is a short lived climate pollutant, increasingly a focus of international action to reduce GHGs. In fact, the White House announced a strategy to reduce methane emissions two years ago that specifically targeted diverting food wastes from landfills.”

Source: Waste360

Published by WIH Resource Group

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

More information on WIH Resource Group and its services can be found at www.wihrg.com.

Click on an image below to take you to WIH’s other sites!

Five Commandments for Down Recycling Commodity Markets


The accumulated wisdom of scrap recycling veterans leads to five important rules to help cope with difficult market conditions.

By Brian Taylor, Editor – Recycling Today

 

 

 

Illustration: Matt Collins

 

Scrap recycling company owners and managers live in a workday world in which changes can occur suddenly or, conversely, in which a distressed market can linger far longer than what is tolerated in many other sectors.

Industry veterans, thus, are not greatly surprised when prices drop sharply and stay low for an extended period, and likewise they have seen previous stretches where material generation goes into an extended slump.

The ability for a company to survive an extended downturn takes not just experience and knowledge, industry veterans say, but also discipline and foresight.

An entire management book could be written based on the accumulated knowledge possessed by recyclers who have weathered three or more market downturns of the sort that have put some of their competitors into receivership.

For the purpose of trying to distill some of that same knowledge into a format that can fit into a magazine article, what follows are five rules or commandments that fit within any lengthier volume offering advice on how scrap recyclers can manage through turbulent times.

By no means do these five commandments (or, if you prefer, strong recommendations) tell recyclers everything they need to know about how to survive a downturn. However, based on the common threads that emerged in talking to recycling industry veterans, they offer a good place to start.

i. thou shalt not take on burdensome debt.

Business loans and good banking relationships are as integral to the scrap business as to any other industry or service sector. What scrap recyclers seem to overwhelmingly agree on, however, is that the volatile revenue stream inherent to recycling means that debt-to-equity ratios that might be acceptable in other sectors can be a recipe for insolvency in the scrap business.

“Historically, it has proven to be true that lulls in business are great times to make changes: equipmentwise, efficiencywise and even just a change in business direction.” – Keith Highiet, Modesto Junk Co.

When scrap prices plunge and scrap volumes diminish, the monthly revenue for a scrap firm changes dramatically.

Recycling company owners may not agree precisely on when it is suitable to take out a loan or how much debt is too much, but they are nearly unanimous on the idea that there is a line that should not be crossed.

Overall, for a business to achieve a certain scale, “debt is not avoidable,” says Kevin Gershowitz, a principal owner of Gershow Recycling, Medford, New York. “But many times, industry members don’t manage debt well,” he continues. “While too much debt is never a good idea [in any business sector], in a commodity business and in a weak market, too much debt is a death knell.”

Melvin Lipsitz of M. Lipsitz & Co. Ltd., Waco, Texas, offers a blunt assessment: “Debt is a bad thing anytime. Typically, the interest you pay on debt and the typical net margin of profit for this industry [mean] the cost of money, even at low interest rates, can dissolve profits.”

Nonferrous scrap recycler Mark Lewon of Utah Metal Works, Salt Lake City, says that among the many scrap firms that purchased auto shredders during the (largely) bull market from 2003 to 2013, those who financed their purchases likely have learned a hard lesson.

Lewon, who also currently serves as chair-elect of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, states, “The buildup in shredders was fueled by debt. Now few, if any, shredders get enough material to run more than a couple of days per week. If that amount of volume isn’t enough to cover the payments, there is going to be a problem.”

Industry veteran Albert Cozzi, currently a principal with Bellwood, Illinois-based Cozzi Recycling, expresses a cynical view toward lenders, commenting, “Banks will always lend you whatever you want, as long as you don’t need it.”

The distressing corollary to that, he says, is that “in this environment,” when recyclers may benefit from a loan to supplement slumping revenue, banks “are just not lending to commodity-related businesses.”

Lewon says, “Debt is a tool, but it is a dangerous tool in that if the calculations for servicing that debt are inaccurate, and if volumes or margins fall short, disaster ensues.

“The bottom line is that the less debt a company has going into difficult economic times, the better the chances of its survival,” he adds.

ii. know thy costs.

Making a concerted effort to understand where outbound dollars are going and whether they are being spent wisely is an endeavor that proves worthwhile far beyond the scrap recycling industry. This knowledge proves particularly critical in a scrap industry downturn, however, when it comes time to react quickly to new market dynamics.

Sources cite careful recordkeeping and industry experience as factors that help savvier operators fully understand how and where money is being spent. “Those operators or entities who have been through prior low cycles understand the basic rule of ‘know your costs,’ managing your costs and keeping your costs low,” Kevin Gershowitz says. “This rule also allows for greater profits during better markets. The experience factor is very important.”

Steven Safran, president of Chicago-based wire processing firm Safran Metals, advises, “You should be running the business the same in the good times and the bad times, not just waiting for the bad times to ask, ‘Oh, where can I cut my costs?’”

Kevin Gershowitz expresses the same thought, saying, “The only way to survive the wake-up call [of a tough market] is to eliminate waste and fat. In good markets, efficiency can wane and costs rise. It’s easy to keep paying. However, in bad markets, those players that consciously choose to survive deliberately review their costs, efficiencies and spending.”

Cozzi offers a similar perspective, saying, “I am a big believer that operationally, when things are good, you run things as if things were going to get bad. That way, when things do turn bad, you don’t have to make many operational changes.”

The hard work is in the details, Cozzi adds, remarking, “It is important to look at every line item on the income statement regularly to see where costs can be reduced. Also, it is important to look at every item on the balance sheet to see where cash can be squeezed out.”

“The less debt a company has going into difficult economic times, the better the chances of its survival.” Mark Lewon, Utah Metal Works

When a downturn hits, “Yes, you may have to change to adjust to volumes,” he says, “but whether things are good or bad, you have to look at your business every day and find ways to be more efficient and continually improve operations.”

John Tiziani, chief financial officer of Gershow Recycling, sums up this management principle by stating, “The companies that know every detail to their businesses survive in low markets and thrive in high markets.”

iii. thou shalt not overpay for material.

The adage “Scrap is bought, not sold” is one of the first phrases someone new to the industry learns, and the importance of the phrase is magnified when scrap buyers are operating in a declining or depressed market.

In bad times or good, prices paid for inbound material are likely the biggest numbers on the expenses side of the ledger, so avoiding overpaying is directly related to the “Know thy costs” commandment.

What veteran recyclers observe, however, is that overpaying can cause even more harm to a company’s balance sheet during bad times, and yet some company managers have a greater tendency to make this mistake in a market slump as they try to meet volume projections.

“Warren Buffet says, ‘You cannot buy market share; you can only rent it for a short period,” Cozzi says. He says the purchase of any grade from any supplier should be scrutinized as to whether it is contributing to profitability.

“Most scrap companies are looking at average cost of their purchases rather than incremental cost or marginal cost of both their feedstock and their operating expenses,” Cozzi says. “During good or bad times, the most important financial metric is contribution margin. Very often those marginal tons are providing negative contribution margin.”

Cozzi, who helped run Chicago-based Cozzi Iron & Metal before that family business was sold to Metal Management Inc. (now Sims Metal Management) in 1998, says maximizing volume may keep machinery active, but that does not necessarily make it the right approach.

“Whether our family ran one or 40 yards, we always did a sensitivity analysis for each yard to make assumptions [about] what price would provide what tonnage, and at what levels is contribution margin maximized. Generally, that answer is at a lower tonnage and lower price point.”

Safran says his family company has remained a modestly sized business in part because it follows this same logic, even during boom markets. “This is the reason Safran Metals has been lean over the years: If we’re looking to pick up new business, we want to pick up business that makes sense. We’re not just looking to pick up marginal business. And I’m guessing too many dealers pick up marginal business, and especially business where you also have to increase your overhead. If so, then you’re putting yourself in more of a risk situation.”

Elliott Gershowitz, a co-principal at Gershow Recycling, along with his brother Kevin, comments, “Don’t overpay for market share on the basis of more volume. You can make the same profit if not more sometimes just by widening your spread and working on lower volumes.”

Kevin Gershowitz elaborates, saying, “Overpaying for raw material is a contagious, infectious disease. The old adage of ‘Make it up in volume’ is just as false today as it was then.” He concludes, “One has to be smart when buying. One needs smart buyers when buying. Anyone can buy if they overpay.”

iv. thou shalt not neglect good people.

When a downturn hits and then lingers, it becomes exceedingly difficult for a company manager to avoid painful personnel decisions. The negative impacts are clear to the employees being laid off or terminated and can be nearly as traumatic for the managers who have to make and communicate these decisions to their employees.

More subtle but of great importance in the long term is the risk to a company’s future when employees who are critical to the workplace knowledge base, culture, morale and future productivity gains of a company are among those who are terminated or leave the company after a payroll cut.

When asked about cost cuts to avoid during difficult times, Keith Highiet of Modesto Junk Co., Modesto, California, says, “Neglecting equipment or losing good people are not options. There are other expenses that can be cut first.”

A recycling company that wishes to retain its key employees through a downturn may need to turn to reduced hours as a cost-cutting technique. “Reduced hours and having good supervision are the keys,” Lipsitz says.

Safran says, “I have never laid anybody off [because of business conditions], maybe because we’ve been lean and mean. The workers help me make money in the good times, and I look at it that I have to take care of them in the bad times. We may need to cut back on hours, but if you have good people, and you spend money training them, you look at what you have to do to keep key employees.”

Lewon says good communication prevents workers from either being blindsided by bad news or from failing to understand the seriousness of a market downturn. “Explain to your people exactly what is going on so that they are aware,” he comments.

Even with the best management practices, “I think that choices have to be made,” Lewon says, when it comes to adjusting personnel levels to meet market realities. “Don’t be afraid to let marginal employees go. Tell the good employees that you want to keep them and that you will work with them to help them make it.”

v. continue to invest in quality.

When scrap prices are low and volumes have slowed to a trickle, it is likely that cash flow conditions will be on the tight side of the spectrum as well. A combination of tight cash flow and a commitment to avoid burdensome debt would seem to make a downturn an unlikely time to invest in operations improvements. However, veteran recyclers warn that neglecting one’s equipment for any consi

derable amount of time is likely to yield negative results. Retaining a high level of quality in operations starts with equipment maintenance, recyclers seemed to unanimously agree. (See the sidebar “Always Maintain”)

Beyond that important rule, veteran recyclers also say a market slump can provide managers with available time to research new equipment, adding that they often encounter equipment makers eager to make a sale during a lull.

“Historically, it has proven to be true that lulls in business are great times to make changes: equipmentwise, efficiencywise and even just a change in business direction,” says Highiet.

“Often, equipment salespeople are willing to deal in order to make sales in tough times,” Lewon says. “For anyone with cash and a long-term view, sometimes difficult times can be a great time to buy equipment.”

Kevin Gershowitz, who has encountered the same circumstance, says, “Better deals can be had on certain equipment from those sellers in need of making sales.”

Yet more critical than saving a few dollars, he says, is preparing to be competitive in the long run. “More important than the savings on the investment is the ability to be ready to go when the markets recover,” he states.

Kevin Gershowitz also points to the importance of keeping in mind the extended research, purchase and installation timeline for such a project.

“The workers help me make money in the good times, and I look at it that I have to take care of them in the bad times.” – Steven Safran, Safran Metals

“On some scrap processing equipment, from investigation to contract to install, it can take over a year for new processing equipment to become operational. Installing now and being in the game when the market recovers is better than beginning to install when the market recovers and then begin operating when the market tanks again,” he comments.

The first quarter of 2016 has provided financial press headlines pertaining in particular to China’s economy and the woes of the global steel industry that may well help to prolong the difficulties in the commodities sector.

Recycling industry veterans are far from complacent, but they do profess a certain amount of faith that abiding by time-tested management principles will help make the slump bearable.

“This downturn is having real consequences,” Highiet says. However, he adds, “The ability and wherewithal to weather prior [slumps], from controlling costs to accepting smaller profit margins with reduced flows of scrap, are helpful to rely upon in the current environment.”

Kevin Gershowitz says, “The fixed costs of operating a scrap yard are real and very expensive. The percent of gross margin needed to cover costs increases as market pricing lowers. When pricing is high, margins are wide and just about any company or individual can generate profits. Low pricing is a different business skill set. As market pricing lowers, margins get squeezed and do not expand. This explains many of the closures we read about.”

Cozzi returns to the idea of veteran leadership as making a difference for some scrap companies. “I believe that people in the industry prior to 2000 do have an advantage over people who are more recent to the business. They have lived through the cycles of the commodities market and of the economy,” he states.

Whether the rest of 2016 brings with it low prices or rising prices, employees of scrap companies with veteran leaders are likely to hear from them with variations of these five commandments and other lessons learned from previous experience.

Author: The author is editor of Recycling Today, Brian Taylor

Source: Recycling Today

Published by WIH Resource Group

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Issues to Consider for Converting Your Garbage Truck Fleet to Natural Gas


Issues to Consider for Converting Your Garbage Truck Fleet to Natural Gas

ARTICLE OVERVIEW
This article looks at the practical implications for waste management firms and organizations, both private and public sectors, for moving their fleets to alternative fuels including what the options are, as well as some of the challenges and the benefits. This Article provides a high level of key issues to consider and “how to” guide on the subject looking at the practical considerations of making the switch including infrastructure. Many fleet managers and owner/operators are weighing their options when it comes to purchasing natural gas trucks vs. diesel trucks. The big question is “When it comes to diesel or natural gas trucks, which is best for my bottom line?” If fleet managers and owner/operators want to make an informed decision about their business, it is crucial to understand the differences between diesel and natural gas trucks.

A growing number of fleets have already made the switch to natural gas after weighing the benefits and challenges. Private waste companies such as Waste Management and Republic Services are buying thousands of new natural gas vehicles (NGVs), based mainly on the economics of switching. The public sector is lagging behind private haulers in making the switch largely because governments have a harder time securing the capital needed to buy the new equipment, even though there is typically an eventual payoff. However, some cities and other local governments are moving in the same direction as the private sector in order to generate the economic and environmental benefits that are available from compressed natural gas (CNG).

INTRODUCTION
Every day in every major City, Town or Community, one vehicle type, besides school buses, passes through every residential street – the garbage / recycling collection truck. Garbage Trucks (aka as refuse collection vehicles – RCVs) operate daily in various parts of every residential part of every City, collecting garbage, green waste, recyclables, food waste and bulk waste. In most cities or towns, these trucks are still powered by traditional diesel or biodiesel, spewing tons of carcinogens and relatively high amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere and our communities.

Those plumes of diesel exhaust emit dangerous levels of CO2 and in the United States alone approximately 180,000 refuse trucks operate and burn approximately 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year, releasing almost 27 billion pounds of the greenhouse gas, CO2. Every gallon of diesel fuel burnt emits more than 22 pounds of CO2.

In the U.S., there has been increasing interest in fuelling waste and recycling collection fleets using alternative fuels, primarily either from CNG from the gas-utility grid, or in some cases from landfill or biogas (aka bioCNG) captured at their own waste processing facilities.

CNG OR LNG FUEL
There are two types of natural gas fuels – compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. CNG is the lower priced of the two fuels and is much more readily available. CNG requires somewhat more payload displacement for equal fuel capacity vs. LNG. However, the disparity had been reduced in recent years due to lighter CNG-storage cylinders and more efficient cylinder configurations on the trucks. The other major challenges with LNG are the fuel delivery, storage and actual vehicle fueling. For the purposes of discussion, this article focuses on CNG, since it is a more readily available both in terms of fueling facilities and vehicles, the abundance of infrastructure, and lower cost.

FUEL ECONOMY & COSTS COMPARED TO DIESEL
Garbage trucks have poor fuel efficiency, typically around 3 miles per gallon, which has been compounded in recent years since the price of diesel has hovered around $4+ per gallon for the last five years.

Currently, CNG is competitively priced with diesel. The price of a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) of CNG has steadily fallen compared to the price of a gallon of diesel. Although the market price of natural gas was fairly volatile in the previous decade, it has stabilized due to significant increases in discovery and production of natural gas in the U.S. It now appears the price of natural gas has decoupled from the price of oil and has therefore not been as volatile as gasoline and diesel prices.

The expansion of natural gas vehicle (NGV) usage holds the promise of reducing carbon emissions, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and lowering fuel and transportation costs. Viability of natural gas as a transportation fuel has grown partly because the availability of shale gas resources has dramatically expanded and gasoline and diesel prices have spiked. NGVs are also appealing because the high-pressured fuel system is sealed, so very little fugitive emission occurs during fueling and use.

Natural gas trucks can save on fuel costs, but the up-front costs are significant. The most costly element is installing a natural gas fueling station, which depending on its size, can cost several million dollars to permit, design, and construct. An alternative to constructing a new fueling facility is to locate a nearby facility that allows third-party access for fueling. In addition, fleet maintenance facilities have to be upgraded to accommodate CNG fleet maintenance, which requires gas detection as well as improved ventilation to manage possible gas leaks that can be ignited through an inadvertent spark.

The trucks themselves can also cost between $30,000 and $50,000 more than their basic diesel counterparts. However the savings for operating NGVs add up quickly. A DGE of CNG costs less than $1.15 to produce, including the cost of the gas commodity, electrical power for system operation and a maintenance allowance .

LANDFILL BIOGAS (BIOCNG) & RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS (RNG)
Fueling a vehicle with food waste was a concept made famous by the movie Back to the Future in the 1980s. Now, almost 30 years later, what was once a futuristic idea has become a reality. In some places, garbage trucks run on the methane captured from the same landfills where they drop off their payloads.

Biogas, also known as renewable natural gas (RNG), produced at locations such as landfills dairy farms, or anaerobic digesters can supply gas to onsite fueling infrastructure for vehicles such as refuse haulers and dairy trucks. Bacteria breaks down organic waste to produce the methane, which is then filtered and compressed for use in the trucks as a vehicle fuel creating RNG.

There is equipment costs associated with refining RNG for use as vehicle fuel, which includes processes to remove moisture, CO, CO2 and heavier hydrocarbons. Once the RNG has been refined, equipment and installation costs for a fueling station using RNG are similar to those for a fueling station that is connected to a utility pipeline. Increased use of CNG vehicles opens the door to use of RNG. The great news it that RNG is a fully sustainable fuel and with over 30 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW) being food waste and green material, refuse fleets are uniquely positioned to capitalize on a “closed-loop” approach, collecting and processing organic waste to produce RNG for fueling vehicles hauling the same waste.

Producing RNG captures greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural waste and landfills that would otherwise migrate into the atmosphere, turning a costly pollution problem into a revenue-generating product that serves regional climate goals. In fact, RNG has the lowest carbon intensity (CI) values of all fuels rated for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), CNG from landfill gas and dairy-digester biogas reduces life-cycle GHG emissions to 85–90 percent below those of diesel fuel, while biomethane derived from high-solids anaerobic digestion can reduce life-cycle GHG emissions to roughly 115 percent below those of diesel. And the operating economics are good, as the cost of the gas commodity is zero, though the processing system does have capital and operating costs.

The use of landfill gas as a vehicle fuel is becoming more common as organizations seek to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of the availability and sale of renewable energy. In July 2014, the EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Pathways II Final Rule to identify additional fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.

 

BENEFITS OF CNG
The expansion of natural gas vehicles (NGV) usage holds the promise of reducing carbon emissions, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and lowering transportation costs. Viability of natural gas as a transportation fuel has grown partly because the availability of shale gas resources has dramatically expanded and gasoline and diesel prices have spiked. NGVs are also appealing because the high-pressured fuel system is sealed, so little evaporative emission occurs during fueling and use.

MUNICIPALITIES ARE REQUIRING CNG TRUCKS
Cities, Counties and States are increasingly requiring that CNG refuse trucks be used as a condition of granting solid waste and recycling collection contracts. While California jurisdictions have been leading the charge, the town of Smithtown, NY also pioneered this approach in 2006, becoming the first locality outside of California to mandate use of CNG trucks for refuse collection. The approach has since become commonplace elsewhere. Even in communities that do not mandate use of CNG trucks, proposing to use a CNG fleet can improve a firm’s competitive position in the bidding and evaluation process, with the promise of lower contract costs for fuel, reduced emissions and lower noise pollution.

FLEET OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT
In determining whether it is practical and cost effective to consider converting a garbage truck fleet to CNG, it is necessary to perform the proper due diligence by reviewing the operations and fleet needs as follows:

  • Existing vehicle requirements for conversion to CNG / fleet vehicle-replacement schedules;
  • Typical fuel use per day including travel routes, mileage, stops, capacity by vehicle type;
  • Maintenance capabilities including facilities operational requirements, location, and personnel knowledge and training;
  • Expected growth in services, customers, etc. as related to future vehicle numbers and use; and
  • Proximity to customers with the potential for CNG fueled fleets.
    Feasibility of locating a CNG-fueling facility at the fleet yard, including consideration of adequate space, electrical power, and vehicle circulation.
  • Evaluation of fast-fill (fueling 1-3 NGVs simultaneously within 5-10 minutes, similar to a conventional petrol fueling sequence) vs. time- or slow-fill (fueling the entire fleet simultaneously with individual dispenser hoses installed at NGV-parking spaces, typically over 8-10 hours each night).

The answers to these primary factors are critical in assessing the practicality of converting a fleet to CNG.

FLEET VEHICLES COST – BENEFITS ANALYSIS
In addition to the due diligence collected from the fleet operational assessment, fleet managers should assess the qualitative and quantitative comparisons of using CNG for new RCVs such comparisons to include:

  • Cost of new vehicles;
  • Lead time between vehicle order and delivery;
  • Cost of diesel fuel;
  • Five (5) and ten (10) year spreads on a miles per equivalent gallon basis based on projected supply/demand of fleet use in the US of various fuels;
  • Fuel tank capacity, fueling frequency, and mileage;
  • Expected vehicle performance in terms of productivity, number of stops, starts, unit life, speed, performance, acceleration, vehicle range, etc.;
  • Emissions based on expected use of the fueling options;
  • Cost per mile comparison;
  • Payload capacity impacts;
  • Gross Vehicle Weight, weight difference and impact on route numbers or timing of routes;
  • Noise generation comparison; and
  • Analysis on issues stemming from the mounting of the fuel tanks to the body, specifically addressing:  1. Height restrictions; and 2.Tank serviceability by mechanics and required fall protection.

OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL IMPACT ANALYSIS
Conducting a operational and financial impacts analysis includes reviewing personnel (headcount) requirements for repairs, fleet maintenance, and operations of the fleet assuming vehicle replacement schedule for the next five (5) and ten (10) years with CNG vehicles, including the following:

  • Expected service life of the vehicle
  • Routine/scheduled maintenance requirements including timing and materials;
  • Required maintenance including maintenance facility requirements/modifications and personnel;
  • Vehicle inspection requirements (including fuel tanks) and licensing fee comparisons;
  • Cost and availability of replacement parts, including if vehicle fuel type increases in use or is phased out of manufacture;
  • Number and skill level of personnel for maintenance;
  • Initial and ongoing training requirements for service and maintenance personnel;
  • Comparison of cost of in-house maintenance and/or outsourcing maintenance;
  • Modifications to the maintenance garage as needed to make the garage CNG-safe;
  • Initial and ongoing training requirements for mechanics and drivers; and
    Identifying local private sector repair and service facilities and providers.

FUELING FACILITY SITE ANALYSIS
The US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center website offers a free alternative fueling station locator for finding alternative fueling stations near a specific address or ZIP code or along a route in the United States. It allows users to enter a state to see a station count and specific fueling facility locations (see http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/)

In the event a local CNG fueling facility is not available, a fueling facility will need to be designed and constructed. In this scenario, it is important to consider the following as part of the decisions as to where to site the facility:

  • Location of natural gas distribution lines in relation to the planned CNG facility and requirements to adequately serve the compressors;
  • Location of electrical service in relation to the planned CNG facility and the cost and requirements to adequately connect and operate the compressors;
  • Footprint of the locations to house the entire solid waste fleet;
    Footprint of the locations to house required vehicle maintenance structures and the requirements and costs for those maintenance structures/changes to existing structures;
  • Logistical comparison of each with respect to ingress and egress as related to CNG fueling;
  • Operational cost impact including any route modifications required of each CNG refuse trucks based on vehicle fueling requirements;
  • Operational cost impact including any route modifications of all non-CNG refuse trucks including vehicle fueling requirements;
  • Design-engineering and permitting requirements including timing;
    estimated infrastructure costs;
  • Maintenance and operational costs for the station(s) and related equipment;
  • Useful life of major station equipment and estimated replacement cost;
    Consideration of developing a coop or shared-use CNG facility with nearby fleet(s), as well as consideration of the public sale of CNG as a revenue stream;
  • Suitability of time-fill and fast-fill CNG station(s) and/or a combination thereof; and
  • Should procuring for such services be required, estimating the timing for the possible design, permitting, and construction for all locations, including a temporary station (if applicable) needs to be considered.

If a fueling facility is to be designed and constructed, it is necessary to determine a baseline for function and performance for the needed CNG fueling facility, as required to meet the planned use. Once the key design parameters have been determined – i.e. number of fast and/or time-fill dispensers, standard cubic ft. per minute (SCFM) capacity of the compressor system, compressor-redundancy levels etc. – site-specific configurations and conceptual equipment layouts will be prepared that account for variations in gas-supply pressure, total available space, and even shape of the space (perhaps a single duplex skid would fit better than two separate skids at a given site). This would also include assessing cost and operational factors for fast-fill vs. time-fill solutions, such as reduced fueling-labor costs for time fill, verses reduced dispenser costs and improved fuel-use tracking for fast-fill configurations.

Once the equipment configuration and conceptual site layout for two or three candidate locations has been established, that information can be used to prepare preliminary construction-cost estimates for the fueling facility. This needs to include site-specific allowances for ancillary factors, such as paving, fencing, lighting, supply-utility upgrades, and added sound-mitigation requirements.

FUELING FACILITIES LOCATION IMPACTS
In the event a local CNG fueling facility is not available, a fueling facility will need to be designed and constructed. In this scenario, it is important to consider the following as part of the decisions as to the optimal location(s) of permanent fueling station(s). Some of the critical factors that need to be included in the analysis are:

• Permitting, design and construction costs;
• Timing of permitting;
• Selection of a suitable design-consulting firm to prepare engineered drawings and specifications;
• Selection of Equipment;
• Operational and maintenance costs of the station(s);
• Analysis of the long term costs or operational benefits;
• Operational impact (if any) on the routing of the RCVs.

Optimal projects should assume a RCV fleet-replacement schedule for the next five (5) and ten (10) years is accomplished with CNG vehicles.

Optimal fueling facility locations should also consider opportunities to provide service to the public and/or commercial customer(s) whose fleets may be served by a conveniently sited station(s). With a production cost of less than $1.15 per DGE and a typical sale-price range of $2.00 to $2.90 per DGE, a reasonable margin per DGE is available.

It is also important to note that it may be necessary to determine if a temporary (or mobile) fueling facility will be required, and if so, the costs, operational requirements, timing of completion, location, and the vehicle fueling capacity of the temporary station.

GRANT AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
It is important to conduct research and identify funding and grant opportunities as well as any tax or government rebates or credits for which a specific fleet may qualify. Various incentives may be available in the forms of tax credits, grants, rebates and voucher-based vehicle price buy-downs which can further accelerate payback period for fleet conversions.

Along with Federal incentives, several states such as California, Colorado, Florida, Texas and Indiana offer strong incentive programs for purchasing vehicles that run on CNG. Other states offer incentives as well, and some states offer incentives for building CNG fueling infrastructure.

The federal government has for several years provided for an excise tax credit of 50 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of CNG used as a transportation fuel to be claimed on tax filings, as well as a tax credit of up to $30,000 of the cost of building CNG fueling infrastructure. The federal tax credits expired on the last day of 2014; however there is a high likelihood that during its current session, Congress will renew these tax credits retroactive to the first of January 2015. Depending on the type and amount of incentives received, ROIs for fleet conversions to CNG RCVs can be reduced to just two or three years. A listing of incentives available for deploying CNG trucks can be found at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws and at ngvamerica.org/government-policy/federal-incentives/.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The recent discoveries of massive natural-gas reserves in the U.S. are creating greater scales of economy in support of long-term planning and fleet conversions to NGVs. NGVs are helping the U.S. and Canada to break free of dependence on foreign oil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, NGVs typically emit 25 percent less greenhouse gases than diesel-powered vehicles.

In addition, natural gas is lower priced than diesel, approximately $1.50 to $2.50 less per gasoline gallon equivalent (DGE), depending on whether the CNG is purchased at a retail location or is produced at a fleet’s own facility. About 50 percent of new garbage trucks and 25 percent of new buses in the U.S. operate on natural gas. In several cities, all RCVs and buses are now running on natural gas, either in city collection fleets or contracted private-sector fleets.

While diesel prices have declined in recent months, fleet owners and managers need to take a long-term view about petroleum costs and fleet conversions to CNG. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that natural gas prices will remain significantly lower than the price of petroleum for at least the next two decades and that natural gas prices will exhibit only one-third the price volatility of diesel fuel.

Fleet standardization in terms of vehicle type, manufacturer, model, chassis, body and other specifications is an excellent way to gain greater productivity out of fleet operators, fleet maintenance, reducing spare parts inventory, and increased utilization the fleet.

If you are considering the switch to a natural gas fleet, work with experienced experts such as WIH Resource Group to assist you in deciding what is best for your business.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC)http://www.afdc.energy.gov/ – The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies. The AFDC offers transportation decision makers unbiased information, data, and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

Alternative Fuels Vehicles Group on Linked Inhttp://goo.gl/SvYYTN – The Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) Group on Linked In was created as a catalyst for sharing information on AFVs and promoting the use of AFVs and fleet conversions. The AFV Group was founded and is sponsored by WIH Resource Group (http://www.wihrg.com). The AFV welcomes new members and encourages member participation in the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Group (AFV) discussions.

California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnershiphttp://www.cngvp.org/ – The California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership is an alliance of air quality, transportation and energy agencies; vehicle and engine manufacturers; fuel providers; transit and refuse hauler associations; and others interested in supporting and increasing deployment of natural gas vehicles throughout California. The website provides additional NGV facts, general industry news and success stories.

CNG Nowhttp://www.cngnow.com/ – The official Pickens Plan site promotes natural gas for transportation and provides information on vehicles, fueling and energy news.

NGVAmericahttp://www.ngvamerica.org/ – This national trade association promotes development of the U.S. market for natural gas vehicles, and advocates for supportive federal policies, publishes a weekly newsletter and provides fact sheets and other resources for NGVs and CNG facilities.

NGV Global – http://www.ngvglobal.com/ – The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles provides news and information on the industry from around the world.

Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forumhttp://goo.gl/RZAgSA – Run by the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation and supported by the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, the NGVTF aims to advance natural gas vehicle and infrastructure technology and deployment.

Natural Gas Vehicle Institutehttp://www.ngvi.com/ – The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute provides training and consulting to address a full range of natural gas vehicle and fueling needs.

CALSTARThttp://www.calstart.org/ – The nonprofit CALSTART works with the public and private sectors to develop advanced transportation technologies and help clean transportation companies succeed.

Energy Information Administrationhttp://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/ – Statistics on and analysis of natural gas supply, production and use from the U.S. Department of Energy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Reb Guthrie is a Principal and co-founder of Fuel Solutions Inc. He has managed most of the projects performed by the company since its inception 1n 1994, including the assessment, specification, development and installation of more than 130 CNG fueling stations for municipalities, transit authorities, counties, school districts and federal agencies throughout the U.S. Reb’s recent project-management work includes providing lead technical consulting to the Los Angeles County MTA in the procurement of a $6.2 million fast-fill CNG facility at Division 13 in downtown Los Angeles, and the design and construction supervision of a $2.1 million fast- and time-fill fueling facility for the City of Denver Sanitation Department. He has also been certified by the NGV Institute and Southern California Gas Company as an NGV Fueling Facility Planner. Reb has a BS in Economics from the College of Business at Arizona State University.

Published & Written by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

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WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

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Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

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Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

CLICK HERE to Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

Be sure to check out Invigorated Solutions, Inc.

  1. Follow @invigorsolution on Twitter
  2. Visit our website: http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com/
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About Invigorated Solutions

Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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New York Mayor Unveils Environmental Plan on Earth Day 2015


The nation’s biggest city, under the direction of Mayor Bill de Blasio, marked Earth Day on Wednesday by linking a sweeping effort to limit its impact on the environment with its fight against income inequality by pledging to lift more than 800,000 people out of poverty.

WIH Resource Group Mayor of NYC Earth Day 2015

De Blasio unveiled his ambitious OneNYC plan as a comprehensive strategy to improve New Yorkers’ lives by providing affordable housing, shortening commute times and preserving the environment.

“The way forward is to create a vision for one city where there’s opportunity for all, sustainability for all and fairness for all,” de Blasio said. “So many people who have fought for economic justice have also fought for environmental justice because these challenges go hand in hand.”

The waste reduction proposal — first reported Tuesday by The Associated Press — is central to the plan. New York, home to about 8.5 million residents, aims to reduce its waste output by 90 percent by 2030 from its 2005 level. The plan, the biggest undertaken by a city in the Western Hemisphere, would eliminate more than 3 million tons of garbage by overhauling the city’s recycling program, offering incentives to reduce waste and embracing the City Council’s plan to dramatically reduce the use of plastic shopping bags.

The waste reduction plan is part of an update to the sustainability project created by de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. But even changing its name from PlaNYC to the loftier OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, which invokes de Blasio’s campaign promise to combat the “tale of two cities” created by income inequality, makes clear that the updated plan would grow in scope.

The mayor pledged to lift 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty or near poverty in the next decade, one of the largest anti-poverty efforts in the nation’s history. De Blasio said it would “change the reality of this city.”

He also reiterated his lofty housing goals — he aims to create 500,000 units of affordable housing by 2040 — and said he wants to end racial and ethnic disparities in premature mortality. He pledged to explore new capital expenditures — including the feasibility of a new subway line to serve central Brooklyn — to improve the city’s aging infrastructure and to reduce the average New Yorker’s commuting time to 45 minutes.

But de Blasio declined to discuss the cost — or source of funding — for the projects, saying much of that would be revealed in next month’s budget presentation.

Some resiliency advocates applauded the lofty goals, but others, including Jordan Levine of the New York League of Conservation Voters, chided the plan for not providing specifics on funding and warned that “implementation is where rubber meets the road.”

For decades, the city’s trash has been exported to South Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or upstate New York. The amount of waste produced by the city has fallen 14 percent since 2005 because of an increase in recycling, and a key component of the plan is to bolster that output by simplifying the process and consolidating all recycling into one bin by 2020.

Organics — such as food scraps and yard waste — make up nearly a third of the city’s residential waste stream. A program to collect that material directly from residents’ homes is expanding to nearly 200,000 residents by year’s end, and city officials want to serve every home by the end of 2018. The city also will offer economic incentives to participate, including potentially a property tax rebate for homeowners.

The city also aims to reduce commercial waste by 90 percent by 2030 by adopting a program that could mean tax incentives for participating businesses and fines for nonparticipants.

The de Blasio administration stopped short of endorsing a City Council bill that proposes a 10-cent fee on plastic bags, but officials said that reducing their use is a priority and that they would coordinate efforts with the council.

SOURCE: WIH Resource Group & US News & World Report

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For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

  • Waste Management Consulting
  • Recycling Programs Optimization
  • Alternative Fuels for Truck Fleets
  • Research & Polling – Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Landfill Operations Consulting
  • Business and Assets Appraisals & Valuations
  • Collection, Processing, Transfer & Disposal Procurement
  • M&A Due Diligence
  • Waste to Energy & New Technology Evaluation Environmental Services
  • Expert Testimony/Litigation Support
  • Facility Planning & Design
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  • Operations & Performance Assessment (OPAs)
  • Planning – Solid Waste, Recycling and Program
  • Program Management & Capital Project Planning
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  • Recycling Program Design
  • Renewables / Clean Energy Technology

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

CLICK HERE to Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

Be sure to check out Invigorated Solutions, Inc.

  1. Follow @invigorsolution on Twitter
  2. Visit our website: http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com/
  3. Like our Facebook Page
  4. Follow Invigorated Solutions on Tumblr

About Invigorated Solutions

Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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