And We Mean Anything Into Oil: U.K. Garbage Trucks Run on Trash

By Rachel Cernansky | February 3, 2009 4:42 pm

trashWe’re all for innovative new forms of fuel. And when there’s a hint of irony, it’s all the better.

Last week, SITA UK, a recycling and waste management company, and the Kirklees Metropolitan Council in Northern England unveiled a garbage truck that runs on power produced by the very garbage it collects.

The truck will gather waste from 25 bins that have been newly installed around town, and transport the trash to the Energy from Waste power station and recycling center. There, the refuse will be burned to produce electricity, which is not only used to recharge the battery-operated electric vehicle overnight, but also contributes about 10 megawatts of power to the municipal electric grid every day.

The truck, a modified Ford Transit, runs on a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack and can reach 50 mph. It has a range of 100 miles and takes six to eight hours to recharge.

Of course, environment-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean “safe”: because it’s electric, the vehicle is just about silent, and could pose a danger for unaware pedestrians. Residents of this small, already-quiet town might need to start looking before crossing the street: a driver of the truck already admitted two near-misses in one morning.

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