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Eco fuel for Pendle’s bin wagons and street sweepers

Published: Wednesday, 20th October 2021

David Walker who has researched eco fuel for Pendle Council's fleet

David Walker, Environmental Services Manager, who has researched eco friendly fuel.

Pendle’s fleet of vehicles including bin wagons and road sweepers will soon be powered by eco -friendly fuel, thanks to a decision to invest in a six month trial.

At the October Policy and Resources Committee, councillors voted to make the switch from diesel to bio-gas made from vegetable oil as a pilot project which will start early in 2022.
Councillor Sarah Cockburn-Price chairs Pendle Council’s Climate Emergency Working Group which put forward the proposal.  She said:

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to persuade the committee to invest in this pilot, so Pendle becomes an early adopter for this technology, which can lead to substantial reductions in CO2.

“We are putting our Climate Emergency Plan into action, investing in measures which protect our environment.

“Pendle Council is showing its commitment to reducing harmful emissions from our 16 large goods vehicles.

“We are thinking globally and taking action locally,” she stated.

David Walker, Pendle Council’s Environmental Services Manager, did the research for this pilot project.
He explained:

“We’re not ready to cover the cost or logistics of moving the fleet to electricity.

“The next best thing for us was to investigate more eco-friendly fuels so we can continue to deliver services in the most efficient way.

“Pendle Council is one of only a handful of councils to be investing in more eco-friendly fuels.

 “Go Plant Fleet Services provide our fleet and they are supporting our efforts.”

“Go Plant is providing two fuel tanks for our depot to help us investigate the benefits of HVO fuel made from hydrogenated vegetable oils and gas to liquid GTL fuels which are a synthetic alternative to diesel.

“Emission savings are about 2.30kg per litre lower than diesel fuel and would provide a significant carbon saving of over 500,000 kg of CO2 per year based on the total amount of fuel we bought last year,” said David.

Pendle Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and we pledged to tackle the environmental crisis, which is affecting us locally, nationally and globally.

Since then the Council has taken a number of positive actions.

These include:
•    Exceeding its target to plant 3,000 trees this year by planting 5,000 trees, thanks to help from volunteers and Park Friends groups

•    Changing our fleet of 44 vehicles, including bin wagons and street sweepers, with every vehicle giving off the lowest emissions possible

•    Fitting a number of buildings with solar panels, including Nelson Town Hall, Fleet Street depot, Wavelengths, West Craven Leisure Centre and Colne Leisure Centre

•    Reducing our carbon emissions by 5% every year

•    Working with our energy suppliers to ensure they use renewable sources

•    Encouraging staff to cycle into work, with lockers now in place for bike helmets and other cycling gear.