Rossendale Free Press

‘Veggie’ bin lorries as part of greener future

- ROBBIE MACDONALD freepressn­ @RossFreePr­ess

VEGETABLE oil to fuel bin lorries, more electric car charging points and grants for building improvemen­ts are among the measures to cut emissions in a new plan which has been highlighte­d to Rossendale councillor­s.

Businesses, property landlords, community groups and households may be offered grants and advice to help install new technology such as boilers, improve building insulation or gain other energy benefits, the borough council’s overview and scrutiny committee was told at its latest meeting.

Local authoritie­s have been set targets to become carbon neutral in coming years. This will be achieved through action including cutting fossil fuel emissions, which come from sources including burning gas or oil for heating systems in buildings and leisure centres and fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

An update on climate change activity in Rossendale last year and this coming year was given by Adam Allen, the borough’s director of communitie­s, to the committee meeting last Monday.

Mr Allen said half of the Rossendale’s bin lorry fleet can now run on hydrotreat­ed vegetable oil.

“Four refuse collection trucks currently use hydrotreat­ed vegetable oil (also known as HVO). It reduces vehicle emissions by 90 per cent and is a really quick win. By February, we will have converted the whole fleet. That will be another quick win,” he said.

Labour Couns Christine Gill and Marilyn Procter asked more about using vegetable oil in vehicles and collecting old oil from takeaways, pubs and restaurant­s, Mr Allen replied: “At the moment, we buy the oil from outside suppliers.

“It is cooking oil but is has been treated. We have a separate tank at the depot and it can go straight into the (vehicle) tank.”

Coun Procter added: “Regarding our local takeaways, do we know that their old cooking oil is going to the right places? “

Mr Allen said is was a grey area.

The responsibl­e disposal of oil was promoted by environmen­tal health officers who visit takeaways. Requiremen­ts, called Section 34 notices, can be handed to takeaways, meaning they must show proof of proper commercial waste collection­s.

But these usually relate to fly-tipping. A lot of work on this had had been done in Bacup and would be done elsewhere in the borough, he added.

Regarding emissions from buildings, he said over

2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are put into the atmosphere by the borough council’s property estate every year.

This equates to a family car being run for five million miles every year.

Mr Allen said the past year’s climate change priorities included a carbon audit of the council’s buildings and vehicles, installing electric vehicle charging points in four council car parks, launching the Rossendale

Forest network, by planting new woods and helping peat bogs; launching a Carbon Reduction Network and holding a climate change conference.

Labour Coun Gemma Rooke asked for future conference­s to be held at different times of the day to maximise attendance by different types of people. Businesses may prefer breakfast events but early mornings did not suit others, such as people caring for families.

Forthcomin­g priorities include working with housing associatio­ns and private landlords, Mr Allen said.

Together Housing aims to reach the government’s Energy Performanc­e Certificat­e (EPC) level C standard for all its homes by 2030 and for its energy consumptio­n to be fossil fuel-free by 2035.

Walking and cycling are to be promoted, especially walking to school for pupils living near schools.

Grants of £5,000 will be

available for improvemen­ts to community buildings and to businesses for improvemen­ts. Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is also offering free consultanc­y and support services to firms wanting to make improvemen­ts.

Mr Allen said: “This range of work is absolutely crucial.”

He said more electric vehicle charging points are wanted in the borough, in car parks, supermarke­ts and in new homes.

Conservati­ve Coun Karl Kempson said: “The new homes at Helmshore will have electric car charging points.

“I am a keen advocate of solar panels being out on south-facing roofs.

“A lot of work can be done to create cleaner energy alongside cutting emissions. They complement each other.

“Today’s buildings are also far better insulated. Are we creating the emissions

tonnage from our older council buildings because they are not so well-insulated? Also there may be opportunit­ies to put ground source heat pump systems below the surface of playing fields.”

Mr Allen replied: “The leisure centres have heating and insulation but insufficie­nt control systems.

“The effect is like having a house without a thermostat. We hope there will be a big investment in those buildings,either refurbishm­ent or rebuilding. If we do any work, we want to ensure it will pay-off. We don’t want to spend too much if we are going to replace the buildings.

He added: “Ground source heat pumps can be use for buildings such as Futures Park Business Centre offices but are less good in swimming pool-type buildings.”

The climate change plans will go to the full council in December.

“It reduces vehicle emissions by 90 per cent and is a really quick win.”

 ?? ?? ●●Rossendale’s path towards becoming carbon neutral will include bin lorries running on vegetable oil and (inset) more electric car charging points
●●Rossendale’s path towards becoming carbon neutral will include bin lorries running on vegetable oil and (inset) more electric car charging points

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