Trash Gas for Trash Trucks

Earth’s natural resources grow increasingly more limited every day, but humanity’s consumption guarantees an abundance of one unlikely “resource.” A typical American throws out about four pounds of trash per day, or more than 240 million tons every year. Most of that garbage winds up in landfills and releases methane as it decomposes. But what if that gas could be harnessed as a clean energy source for vehicles?

energyNOW! correspondent Peter Standring visited a California landfill to see how one waste disposal company is turning trash from landfills into clean-burning fuel for trash trucks.

The Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor

Alternative transportation fuels have been heralded as a way to shift heavy-duty trucks away from diesel or gasoline toward cleaner burning fuel, but the transition has remained a road too far for one main reason – lack of infrastructure.

Even though gasoline prices are high and reducing pollution is an imperative to environmentalists, it’s still easy to find a gas station whenever you need one. The nationwide network of filling stations has been built over the past 100 years, giving oil-based fuels an advantage over newer alternatives, like hydrogen or natural gas.

energyNOW! correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan traveled to California to learn about efforts to build a new network of alternative fuel filling stations – the Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor (ICTC).