Electric bin lorries to be trialled in as council looks to cut carbon footprint
Electric bin lorries are set to be trialled in Flintshire as the local authority looks to reduce its carbon footprint.
The Welsh Government (WG) has set a target for the public sector to become fully carbon neutral by 2030 after declaring a climate emergency.
As a result, Flintshire Council is exploring ways to reduce emissions, including by moving towards the majority of its vehicles being powered by electricity.
One way in which the council is looking to move forward with the idea is in relation to its refuse collection trucks, with two electric vehicles due to be piloted from this summer.
However, with doubts over whether electricity will be able to fuel the lorries on long journeys, a senior official revealed hydrogen energy is also being considered.
In a report, Steve Jones, chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said: “The council’s waste vehicles are the largest vehicles operated by the council with the highest emissions.
“Given the distances covered each day by the vehicles and the stop/start nature of the work, the suitability of electrically powered vehicles is still in doubt.
“Options to utilise hydrogen fuel cells to charge batteries during the day, which will allow the routes to be completed on one charge, are being considered.
“The council has recently submitted an expression of interest for funding to support the conversion of an existing refuse diesel vehicle to a fully electric motor arrangement and we have also secured 50 per cent contribution to the purchase of a fully electric recycling vehicle to support collections in Flintshire.
“The vehicles will provide information on the future and suitability of these vehicle types in the work that we do.”
Vehicle emissions account for approximately 6.5 per cent of the council’s greenhouse gas output, which is the third largest contributor.
Mr Jones said new technologies would provide opportunities to reduce the figure by using low emission vehicles.
But he stressed the number of electric charging points in the county would need to increase to meet the authority’s aspirations.
Details of a possible hydrogen fuel hub in the Deeside area are also highlighted in the report.
Mr Jones added: “With WG support the council has commissioned consultants to develop a strategic outline business case to develop a potential hydrogen hub on Deeside Industrial Park (DIP).
“The commission will consider hydrogen production and storage at the facility with capacity to provide fuel to both the council, businesses on DIP, other North Wales councils and private vehicles and LGVs using the North Wales coast road.”
The report will be discussed by members of the authority’s environment and economy scrutiny committee tomorrow (Tuesday, 9 February).
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Pictured above – the Dennis Eagle e-Collect model being trialled by Denbighshire County Council. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com