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Covanta, partner open compressed natural gas station in Newark

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Covanta's Essex Resource Recovery Center, in Newark, now also houses a compressed natural gas fueling station.
Covanta's Essex Resource Recovery Center, in Newark, now also houses a compressed natural gas fueling station. - (Aaron Houston / NJBIZ)

The push for natural gas-fueled vehicles got a boost Wednesday with the opening of a new fueling station in Newark.

Morristown-based Covanta Energy Corp. and California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. today unveiled a compressed natural gas fueling station at Covanta's Essex Resource Recovery Center. The station, which will fuel garbage trucks from northern New Jersey and New York City, is part of a nationwide partnership between the two firms to boost America's natural gas infrastructure.

"This partnership is expected to enable more fleets and customers around the country to take advantage of the economic benefits of natural gas, while reducing their carbon footprint in the community," said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., in a press release.

Compressed natural gas, or CNG, is becoming a popular fuel for many truck fleets. It costs up to $1.50 less per gallon than diesel, the companies said, and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The main problem in many areas, however, is a lack of filling stations to serve CNG trucks.

Anthony Orlando

"This new CNG station is an important step in building out necessary infrastructure to support the transition to modern fleets of garbage trucks fueled by natural gas," said Anthony Orlando, Covanta's president and CEO, "and that transition will provide economic and environmental benefits to the communities we serve."

In a press release, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said his city will launch a major program to replace diesel-powered garbage trucks and street sweepers with CNG-fueled trucks.

The new CNG station is located at a waste-to-energy facility that receives municipal waste from Newark, New York and other nearby cities, and combusts the waste to create renewable electricity, which is then fed into the regional grid. The plant's technologies help limit emissions from its incineration process.

The station was partially funded by a U.S. Department of Energy stimulus grant through the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes alternative fuels.

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