When Groot Industries wanted to expand their CNG fleet, they partnered with Trillium to complete a new CNG station in Naperville, IL.
Groot Industries Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Connections, is an Illinois-based, locally operated solid waste management service provider that prides itself on customer satisfaction. Its parent company, Waste Connections, is an integrated solid waste services company that provides non-hazardous waste collection, transfer and disposal services, along with resource recovery primarily through recycling and renewable fuels generation. The company serves more than 7 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in mostly exclusive and secondary markets across 43 states in the U.S. and six provinces in Canada. Waste Connections also provides non-hazardous oilfield waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in several basins across the U.S., as well as intermodal services for the movement of cargo and solid waste containers in the Pacific Northwest.
Transitioning to CNG
Groot Industries is the largest independent solid waste management services provider in Illinois. For more than 100 years, the company and its subsidiaries have provided solid waste collection and other vital public services to northeastern Illinois municipalities and businesses. Upon realizing the multitude of benefits that come with compressed natural gas (CNG), a clean-burning alternative fuel, Groot began converting its refuse fleet over a decade ago. As one of the most cost-effective alternative fuels for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, CNG is a viable option for customers aiming to reduce emissions. CNG produces up to 27 percent fewer carbon emissions than diesel, while providing safe and reliable technology that can perform on par with diesel. Although Groot had already been using CNG for its fleets, a recent partnership with Trillium, beginning in April 2020, allowed it to expand its use of CNG trucks with the completion of a new CNG station in Naperville, IL.
Trillium, a member of the Love’s Family of Companies, is a leading provider of renewable fuels and alternative fueling solutions, specializing in fuel supply, design, installation and operation for innovative energy solutions. Trillium’s alternative fuels offerings include compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as well as low carbon energy supply from renewable natural gas, solar installation and onsite electricity generation. For more than 20 years, Trillium has exceeded customer expectations by delivering superior quality, reliability and dependability at more than 200 alternative fueling stations nationwide. Trillium specializes in designing, building and operating these facilities and provides 24/7 maintenance services for various types of professional fleets. Combined, Love’s Travel Stops and Trillium own nearly 70 public-access CNG facilities.
Setting Up the Infrastructure
Initially, Groot worried about access to fueling infrastructure and had some long-term concerns with piston head failures that it experienced in other markets. Although there were initial start-up and shop conversion costs, those worries were assuaged and CNG fueling has proven to be a positive investment. The public CNG station opened in November 2020 and is currently located at 1720 Jefferson Ave. It is open 24/7, featuring multiple CNG dispensers for light- and heavy-duty fueling. The station will serve the City of Naperville’s vehicles, refuse trucks from Groot and other CNG fleets operating in and around Naperville.
“Trillium continues to grow its retail station network to meet the sustainability needs of innovative fleet customers like the City of Naperville and Groot,” said JP Fjeld-Hansen, Vice President of Trillium. “This project has been a long time in the making, and the fact that we completed it safely and effectively during a global pandemic speaks volumes about our team’s dedication to service.”
For fleets looking to transition to CNG, Groot recommends looking at grant opportunities to help with funding for your fleet. Trillium has decades of expertise in procuring grants for fleet partners transitioning to CNG and other alternative fuel vehicles or expanding their existing alternative fuel fleet.
Customers have reacted quite favorably to the switch to a cleaner burning fuel, particularly because of the reduction in noise in the CNG trucks. With the addition of the new Trillium station, Groot has converted 15 percent of its Naperville fleet to CNG. Across Illinois, Groot’s CNG fleet makes up closer to 35 percent of its overall refuse fleet with the possibility for future expansion if conditions remain
favorable. | WA