Bin lorries powered by vegetable oil get go-ahead from council

The vehicles, which are the result of a £600k, are set to arrive in October.

Bin lorries powered by vegetable oil get go-ahead from Renfrewshire Council iStock

Three bin lorries that can be powered by a form of vegetable oil will be delivered to Renfrewshire after councillors gave the green light.

The refuse collection vehicles – which are the result of a £600,000 contract – are set to arrive at Paisley’s Underwood Road in October.

The trucks, which will be provided by specialist company Faun Zoeller following a procurement exercise, sparked debate among elected members about the future of waste disposal at the recent finance board.

Councillor Graeme Clark, Labour group economy and regeneration spokesperson, asked if the council had considered turning to electric bin lorries after their use by a neighbouring authority.

He said: “I noticed that Glasgow City Council’s investing in electric vehicles and say that they’re 70% less expensive to run than traditional fuel, so it’s just a mention for the future given that we have a climate crisis.

“Are we looking at electric vehicles?

“Is there any way that we could look at this in the future for tenders and purchases?”

Board convener John Shaw said similar questions have been asked and “investigated” every year as vehicles are ordered.

He said: “The cost of these three bin lorries that we’re approving pretty much equates to the cost of one electric bin truck.

“You also talked about traditional fuels, my understanding is that these won’t be running off traditional fuels.

“These will be running off some sort of vegetable oil, which is better for the environment and I think better for the vehicles as well.”

Bridget Lambert, council procurement manager, said: “You’re spot on.

“In terms of the cost of the electric vehicles, they are three times the price of the diesel vehicles.

“The vehicles that we’re buying will be enabled to take what they call hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which is about 90% less in terms of emissions than diesel, so it does provide clean fuel option.”

Ms Lambert said the environment and infrastructure department was “constantly reviewing the technology” when it comes to electric refuse collection vehicles.

She said: “There are still a number of reasons why we’re sticking with diesel at the moment.

“But we are doing all we can to ensure that the diesel vehicles have the capacity to take what they call HVO, which is much cleaner, and they will always be looking to electric as a future option.

“With every tender that we do, that’s considered and it’s one of the first questions that we ask, so it is very much a plan for the future.”

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