New bin lorry to be fuelled by the waste it collects

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A bin lorry that runs on fuel produced from the waste it collects on its rounds is set to be unveiled in Stornoway.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has invested in the vehicle which will run on hydrogen produced from food and garden waste being converted to fuel at the Creed Park Waste Management depot, thanks to new machinary being installed at the plant – and the move is being hailed by the Comhairle as a double win for the environment.

A Comhairle report, set to be ratified by councillors this week, states that the disposal of food waste to landfill ‘not only wastes energy but also any landfill gas produced will have a significant damaging impact on the environment. The impact of methane gas is twenty times more damaging than carbon dioxide.’

In addition to the environmental benefits claimed by the Comhairle, the new lorry could be set to improve Comhairle finances, with plans to increase local collection of food and garden waste by a thousand tonnes a year resulting in savings of more £100k diverted from landfill costs.

In December 2017, the Comhairle agreed that food waste should be banned from household and commercial residual waste (landfill) bins, and are set to launch a campaign to boost the collection of food waste from households and businesses in Lewis and Harris.

The purchase of the vehicle is one of a number of new initiatives aimed at utilising waste products.

The Creed Park facility is also now using the hydrogen and oxygen it produces through its combined heat and power plant to deliver hydrogen to the local salmon industry for use in the generation of electricity.

A new pasturiser installed at the plant means that seven tonnes of waste per year from the local salmon farming industry can be processed to meet animal by-product regulations, and the waste can then be mixed with food and garden waste to boost energy production.

The Comhairle were unable to provide a picture of the new vehicle at the time of going to press.