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Carbon cut by council fuel switch

A source of carbon emissions in Bromsgrove District has been slashed after council vehicles said goodbye to fossil fuels.

Bromsgrove District Council’s familiar fleet of vans and bin lorries has now finished swapping over to the lower-emission new biofuel HVO, or Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil.

Dropping fossil-derived diesel means an up to 90% fall in the CO2 emitted by the council’s waste-collecting trucks and other road vehicles, or 530 tons less of the greenhouse gas every year – more than the weight of three blue whales.

It also helps to extend and improve the useful life of existing vehicles, enabling more value to be got from the already-emitted carbon costs of their original manufacturing.

The change came as part of the council’s plans to reduce its carbon emissions wherever it can, and also benefits local air quality as the vehicles now emit significantly less of the key pollutants nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide.

The district council’s portfolio holder for Environmental Services, Cllr Margaret Sherrey, said: “We are all aware of the climate emergency and the pressing need to act in ways that reduce our emissions. This move has immediately and substantially reduced our emissions and, as HVO is interchangeable with fossil diesel as a fuel, it doesn’t break the bank either. By giving us a greener way to maximise the remaining lifespan of our existing vehicles, HVO is a useful stepping-stone towards making our fleet as carbon neutral as possible until it’s time to replace the vehicles altogether.”

HVO is a form of cleaner diesel made to British Standard EN 15940, a ‘paraffinic diesel fuel specification that governs a new generation of cleaner transport fuel for use in road vehicles’. It is derived from oils and fats, such as used cooking oils, non-food grade crops, and animal fats left over from food processing, and can include renewable sources.

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