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Green Your Fleet

From Scrap Magazine. Written by Jim Fowler

Every day, drivers for Used Beverage Container Recovery (Wixom, Mich.), a subsidiary of Schupan & Sons (Kalamazoo, Mich.), use the company’s fleet of 16 trucks to pick up aluminum cans, PET containers, and glass bottles from reverse vending machines at 600 Michigan locations. Each truck runs for two 10-hour shifts on routes that can reach 400 miles in length, and each is registered at 54,000 pounds gross combination weight. Powering the M2 112, single-axle (4 x 2) Freightliner tractors are Cummins 8.9-liter ISL G engines that generate 320 hp and 1,000 foot-pounds of torque—and that operate without a drop of diesel fuel. Instead, UBCR claims it’s the first scrap recycling company in the United States to have converted its entire dieselpowered truck fleet to operate on compressed natural gas.

The company made the switch for several reasons, says CEO Marc Schupan. “Environmentally, it’s great. We’ve done studies of our carbon footprint, and the switch from diesel to natural gas reduces it tremendously.” Further, with the help of government grants and tax credits—and forecasts of continuing low U.S. natural gas prices—the CNG fleet is “going to be more economical than the diesel fleet,” Schupan says. “We did a lot of research and believe that for us, it’s a huge savings.”


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