London-based Bio Collectors fuel vehicles with food waste following ULEZ

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Bio Collector's site processes up to 100,000 toness of food waste every year

London food waste collector Bio Collectors will retrofit all 25 of its vehicles following the introduction of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) earlier this week.

Prompted by the mayor of London’s plans to improve air quality in the capital, the vehicles will now run on compressed natural gas (CNG) produced by its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in South London.

Bio Collectors’s site processes up to 100,000 tonnes of food waste every year, equalling of 6mW of gas and 1.7mW of electricity every hour.

The by-products of the food waste already power the plant and on-site offices and feed back to the national grid.

ULEZ will charge older, more polluting vehicles entering central London £12.50 per day, in addition to the congestion charge.

Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro 6 standards or pay £100 a day.

Paul Killoughery, MD of Bio Collectors, said the mayor’s preferred option of electric vehicles was not suitable for the lorries.

He said: “We did look at electric vehicles, as their exemption from the congestion charge and road fuel tax would make them the logical choice given CNG trucks are liable for both.

“But electric vehicles are not available at the payloads we require and would take all night to recharge, making them impractical and logistically impossible due to the significant space needed for separate charging stations for 25 vehicles.”

Bio Collectors will have the only CNG refilling station inside the M25.

Yet many businesses are unclear about various aspects of ULEZ, according to the London Chamber of Commerce (LCCI).

Its research, undertaken by ComRes, found 44% don’t know the impact ULEZ will have on its business, with 46% not knowing how much ULEZ charges will be for non-compliant vehicles.

David Frost, chief executive of LCCI, said: “Transport for London should issue advisory notices to businesses infringing the rules, rather than immediately imposing the heavy penalties the law requires.

"Otherwise, smaller businesses which can’t afford to upgrade their vehicles immediately risk being priced out of serving central London clients.”

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