The installation of solar panels on waste collection vehicles aims to significantly reduce the fleet’s fuel consumption, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and lower operational costs, all whilst continuing to provide award-winning and reliable waste collection services to the district’s residents.
“By harnessing the power of solar energy, we are taking a significant step towards a more sustainable future for our district.” said Councillor Stephen Bunney, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Member Group and a key advocate for the project. “This initiative demonstrates our dedication to finding innovative solutions to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.”
The solar panels installed on the waste collection vehicles will generate electricity to power essential vehicle functions such as compacting and lifting mechanisms, as well as auxiliary systems. By supplementing the traditional fuel source with solar panels, the council anticipates a reduction of around 600 litres in diesel consumption for each vehicle per annum and carbon emissions of more than six tonnes each year.
This initiative is the result of a collaborative effort between the council and technology company Vision Techniques, who provide 360 degree cameras to ensure safe operation of WLDC lorries. The project was financed through a dedicated fund for climate initiatives with a focus on creating a positive impact on the community and the environment. It aims to pay back within four years from fuel savings and reduced maintenance costs, thereby funding future projects.
The project was identified in the Council’s annual business planning process and in addition to the solar panels installation, the council is actively exploring other green technologies and practices to further enhance its waste management operations. These include the use of electric vehicles, recycling programs and community education initiatives.
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