The Phoenix, Ariz.-based solid waste management firm Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) has signed a renewable biomethane recovery agreement with Seal Beach, Calif.-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) to process and sell renewable natural gas recovered from Republic’s Sauk Trail Hills Landfill site in Canton Township.

Clean Energy will build a high-BTU landfill gas processing plant at Republic’s Sauk Trail Hills Landfill which will produce renewable natural gas for injection into the natural gas pipeline system. The renewable natural gas will be distributed for vehicle fuel use to Republic natural gas fleets, Clean Energy customers and direct use by renewable power customers. 

The agreement provides Republic a beneficial use for landfill gas, and will also provide Republic with conventional natural gas vehicle fuel for use in Republic’s growing natural gas fleet. When the landfill-gas-to-energy processing facility is fully operational, output of clean, green biomethane is expected to equate to 6 million diesel gasoline gallon equivalents annually.  Production is expected to begin in early 2012.

Said Clean Energy president and CEO Andrew J. Littlefair: “This underscores and expands a major new business direction for Clean Energy, with the goal of supplying renewable natural gas fuel to tens of thousands of natural gas vehicles operating across America.” 

Added Prepublic president and COO Don Slager: “This is truly an innovative project that provides Republic with a beneficial use for our landfill gas and gives us the flexibility for use in Republic’s markets where it meets our growing natural gas fleet’s operational needs.”

Republic intends to use a portion of the sustainable biomethane produced at the site to fuel its expanding fleet of natural gas, solid waste hauling trucks. In addition, Clean Energy expects to provide the Sauk Trail Hills biomethane product to fleet customers in its national network of compressed natural gas vehicle fueling stations.

Renewable biomethane gas is a by-product derived from the compression of the landfill waste and decomposition. Used for vehicle fuel, environmentally friendly landfill gas generates up to 88 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel or gasoline.

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