Council’s new fleet of refuse trucks to be powered by cooking oil not diesel

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2023

  • New eco-fuelled refuse and recycling trucks on the way.
  • Powered by vegetable oil not diesel.
  • Delivering better air quality and 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

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Recycled cooking oil will soon power the borough's fleet of refuse & recycling trucks

The council is carrying out a major upgrade of its vehicle fleet by purchasing new refuse and recycling collection trucks that run on vegetable oil not diesel.

The town hall is ordering 32 new refuse trucks that are powered by used vegetable oil as part of wider efforts to reduce the council’s carbon footprint and improve the reliability of the fleet. They will replace the borough’s existing fleet of vehicles which have been in use long beyond the eight years usually recommended, becoming increasingly unreliable and prone to breakdowns.

By using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) the borough’s new refuse lorries will see carbon emissions reduced by 90 per cent compared to diesel - as well as a 30 per cent reduction in particulates.

HVO fuel is a second-generation biofuel that can be sourced from used cooking oil.

The switch means the council can forge new partnerships with local restaurants to recycle their used cooking oils.

Judi Gasser, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Environment recently met staff and owners of the Pig and Whistle gastropub in Earlsfield to learn more about its initiative to recycle its waste vegetable oils.

She said: “This is a really exciting initiative. We are just about to buy new refuse and recycling lorries which will run on recycled vegetable oil which will mean huge reductions in the council’s carbon footprint. Using vegetable oil instead of diesel will cut the emissions generated by our refuse service by 90 per cent.

“Switching to more environmentally friendly fuels will have a really positive effect on air quality and provide enormous benefits to our residents.

“And with the borough boasting so many pub and restaurant businesses, we will be hoping to build relationships with them, so that Wandsworth vehicles can run on Wandsworth vegetable oil.

“The council has some very challenging carbon reduction targets. Making this switch will play a big role in achieving those targets.”