Bin Lorries to be Powered by Cooking Oil

Published: 06/07/2023 By Allan Fuller

Wandsworth Council has announced that it is to invest in a new fleet of refuse trucks that will be powered by cooking oil. 

It says that the use of vegetable oil rather than diesel in the vehicles will improve air quality and deliver a 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. 

32 new refuse trucks have been ordered 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 the council says have been in use long beyond the eight years usually recommended, becoming increasingly unreliable and prone to breakdowns. No indication has been given at this stage as to when the new vehicles will start operating. 

By using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) the borough’s new refuse lorries will also bring about a 30 per cent reduction in particulates according to the council.

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

The switch means the council can tie up 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.”