Bournemouth Borough Council (BCP) has announced an eco-friendly initiative whereby two of their refuse vehicles run on hydrotreated vegetable oil.
Partnering with Crown Oil, the council have introduced this trial as part of their climate emergency declaration, and their pledge to make all operations carbon neutral by 2030.
“This is an important trial that helps us work towards the government’s waste strategy pledge to eliminate food waste to landfill by 2030, by reusing cooking oil waste and converting it into an alternative, environmentally friendly fuel in our vehicles,” explains Bournemouth Council’s cabinet member for Environment, Cleansing, and Waste, Councillor Mark Anderson.
The Vegetable Oil Fuel Trial
The fuel is created by reusing used cooking oil. The vegetable oil is treated in a hydrotreating process, and is then ready for use in diesel vehicles. The Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) can be placed directly into vehicles, without need for adaptations. This two-pronged strategy, as Cllr Mark Anderson explained, will help reduce landfill waste and cut vehicle emissions. Waste oil is frequently disposed of unethically; poured down the drain or into the bin. BCP’s new initiative will help curb prevent this issue and give used oil a new life.
Crown Oil will be responsible for hydrotreating the oil. Technical Manager at Crown Oil, Simon Lawford, explains that: “The proven benefits of using HVO are plentiful, including year-round usability, up to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a direct drop-in functionality for the council’s existing fleet to use, making it a complete replacement for diesel.”
The trial will last a year, and is predicted to save around 40 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per vehicle.
This innovative idea demonstrates the changes that local councils can make in improving the local impact on the environment.