Making a green sweep
Keeping the borough’s streets clean and tidy is becoming more carbon friendly as six further sweeper vehicles swap diesel for low-emissions biofuel.
A total of eight road and precinct sweepers used by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council are now being powered by hydrogenated waste vegetable oil as a renewable and more sustainable fuel with up to 98% lower carbon emissions than diesel.
Part of the council’s ongoing work to reduce emissions from its vehicles, the move follows the previous successful swap from diesel to this biofuel to power all of its 25 grass mowers, two other sweepers, two tippers and a small van.
Cabinet Member for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Cllr Chris Tomblin said: “We know caring for our parks and open spaces and keeping our streets clean and tidy is important for residents and visitors, and we are committed to doing this well and in a way that helps to tackle the climate emergency.
“With emissions up to 98% lower than diesel, reusing this waste oil as a fuel immediately cuts the carbon footprint of our grounds and street maintenance vehicles. To take this further, we are looking to swap them out for suitable electric alternatives in the longer term as they become available and our vehicles need replacing.
“So far, it has already cut our annual carbon footprint by over 143 tonnes and swapping these six sweepers to this fuel as well is expected to increase that to over 210 tonnes of carbon savings every year.”
Hydrogenated vegetable oil emits up to 98% less carbon and significantly fewer particulates than diesel, helping to tackle the climate emergency and improve local air quality. The fuel is created by putting collected waste fats and cooking oils through a hydrotreatment process so they can be reused, rather than disposing of them as hazardous waste or in landfill.
Borough councillors unanimously declared a climate emergency in 2019, which included setting a target for the council to be carbon neutral in its operations by December 2025.
For more information, see www.basingstoke.gov.uk/climate.