The city of Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec is now fueling its natural gas powered municipal vehicles with methane sourced from the city’s garbage.

The city of Saint-Hyacinthe started this week to recover organic materials via biomethanization and to use the renewable natural gas produced to meet its energy needs.

In the same breath, this fall, Gaz Métro announced the signing of an agreement in principle with Saint-Hyacinthe for the purchase of surplus renewable natural gas produced by the city’s biomethanization centre for injection into its distribution network.

Gaz Métro is the main provider of natural gas in the Province of Quebec.

This project was submitted to Quebec’s Régie de l’énergie for approval.

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The city said it is collecting the organic materials of its citizens and businesses as well as the same from 23 surrounding municipalities to supply the first municipal vehicle fleet with renewable natural gas, in addition of being the privileged source of energy to heat its municipal buildings.

“Gaz Métro is proud to use its gas network for this promising project, to allow all its clients to take advantage of locally produced renewable natural gas,” said Martin Imbleau, Vice President, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro. “Choosing this energy to fuel vehicles is another step toward the intelligent and systematic recovery of organic materials in Québec, by creating an infinitely renewable cycle. We hope that this project will inspire many other municipalities to follow suit.”

At current prices, natural gas generates savings of up to 40 percent compared with diesel, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 25 percent, said the city of Saint-Hyacinthe. By opting for renewable natural gas as a fuel, GHG emissions decrease by more than 99.4 percent, considering the fuel’s complete life cycle.

Using natural gas as a fuel for vehicle is not yet widespread in the province of Quebec. To date, there are 350 natural gas vehicles on Quebec’s roads.