Cedar Grove Deploys Innovative System
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Cedar Grove Deploys Innovative System on Existing Collection Truck to Green its Fleet

Cedar Grove, based in Seattle, Washington and a longtime innovator in composting food scraps and yard waste, has also always been at the forefront of innovation around operational technology to ensure it is processing material in the most efficient and environmentally responsible manner, producing the highest quality end product.

In 2019, the company partnered with Effenco and deployed Effenco’s Active Stop-Start™ technology on one of its existing collection trucks. This is a hybrid electric system designed to shut down the engine when the truck is idling.

Cedar Grove Organics Recycling collects food and yard scraps from restaurants, office buildings, and schools throughout the Puget Sound region.

With numerous stops, collection trucks often spend a majority of their time idling; this system avoids unnecessary use of fuel and reduces emissions and noise during that time.  For collection trucks that run in the evening, or in close, residential quarters, or near schools, this can be very beneficial to the entire route and community.

The benefits of this system include reductions in:

  • fuel consumption
  • engine maintenance
  • wear and tear on brakes
  • emissions
  • noise

How it Works

When the engine is running, it charges a large capacitor. As the truck comes to a complete stop the engine shuts down. The energy stored in the capacitor is used to power the hydraulic cart tipper, run the HVAC system in the cab of the truck, and to restart the engine before the stored energy is used up or when the driver steps on the throttle pedal.

The Effenco Active Stop-Start electric hybrid technology reduces engine use while at the point of collection, while stopped in traffic and at worksites.  Cedar Grove is seeing a 25 percent reduction in fuel since deployment and looks forward to continuing this partnership with Effenco.

As technologies evolve that provide opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiencies, Cedar Grove will continue to search out new technologies and innovative systems as it has since pioneering composting in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s.

By Karen Dawson
Karen Dawson serves as the director of public affairs at Cedar Grove. Dawson oversees government and media relations and corporate and social responsibility.  Dawson also serves on the King County Solid Waste Advisory Committee.