PHOENIX - Solid waste operator Republic Services has signed a renewable biomethane recovery agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to process and sell renewable natural gas recovered from Republic's Sauk Trail Hills Landfill site in Canton, Mich.

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 agreement provides Republic a beneficial use for landfill gas. The contract 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 bio-methane is expected to equate to 6 million diesel gasoline gallon equivalents annually. Production is expected to begin in early 2012.

Republic also, under other agreements, contracted Clean Energy to build and operate 14 compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse vehicle fueling stations and to provide Republic liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuse fleets in California with approximately 3 million gallons of LNG vehicle fuel per year.

Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy president and CEO, said: "We are delighted with the opportunity to partner with Republic, the nation's second largest solid waste company, in this new sustainable energy venture. 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."

"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," added Don Slager, president and COO of Republic.

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

Renewable bio-methane gas is a byproduct 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.