Winnipeg's recent spell of extremely cold weather hit garbage and recycling contractor Emterra particularly hard due to the way the company fuels its fleet of green vehicles.
At any point during the cold spell, up to 40 per cent of Emterra's 53-vehicle fleet was out of service due to cold-related problems, said Darryl Drohomereski, solid waste manager for the City of Winnipeg. Emterra's vehicles run on compressed natural gas and must be fuelled outdoors in a process that takes several hours, Drohomereski said. The prolonged exposure to the cold led to problems with the vehicles' hydraulic systems and air brakes, hampering operations even when the trucks' engines were warm and running properly, he said.
Cold-related problems have hampered both Emterra and BFI this winter, Drohomereski added. Garbage and recycling collection should be back on schedule by Sunday evening, he said.