As part of its commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2030, Fareham Borough Council has converted its garden waste collection vehicles to operate using a biofuel, specifically hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

The Council has signed up to a year-long trial of HVO fuel for its four garden waste vehicles, with a view to extend throughout the whole refuse and waste collection fleet and potentially smaller diesel vehicles if successful. This trial marks the first major climate change intervention of the year as the council seeks to reduce its carbon footprint.

This project forms part of the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan which was approved by Executive Members in June 2021.

The Council conducted a Low Emissions Fuel Feasibility Study between September and October 2021, which highlighted that diesel is a significant contributor to the Council’s carbon emissions with fleet fuel contributing over 67% of the Council’s direct emissions each year.  The refuse and waste collection vehicles account for two thirds of the fuel used by the Council’s fleet, contributing the equivalent of 610 metric tonnes in carbon dioxide annually.

Switching these four vehicles over to HVO will reduce the Council’s annual carbon footprint by approximately 99 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year. If the trial is successful and is rolled out to the entire fleet as well as all other diesel vehicles, this could see carbon dioxide reduced by over 700 metric tonnes.

Executive Member for Streetscene at Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Ian Bastable, said: “The Council has made the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. This ambition gives me a tremendous sense of pride and 2022 marks the first full year where we can start to implement real change. This trial of HVO for our garden waste vehicles is just the first project of many planned for this year and the first step toward achieving our goal.”

You can find out more about the Council’s plans to reduce its carbon emissions and what you can do to help here: www.fareham.gov.uk/climatechange