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Waste collection using biogas vehicles

Stockholm

Introducing clean waste collection trucks was a positive step towards improving air quality and reducing noise pollution in the centre of Stockholm.

Implementing sustainable mobility

On average, each of Stockholm’s 0.8 million inhabitants produces 283 kg of domestic waste each year. The city’s Waste Management Administration operates 85 waste collection trucks via contracts with different entrepreneurs. The contractors own and operate all the city’s waste collection vehicles on behalf of the Waste Management Administration.

The goal of the TRENDSETTER measure was to encourage each of the contractors in the city to operate one or two biogas-fuelled waste collection vehicles in order to reduce emissions and noise pollution.

Prior to measure implementation, the city had access to two biogas-fuelled waste collection lorries through the EU-supported project ZEUS (Zero and Low-Emission Vehicles in Urban Society). Those biogas vehicles were greatly appreciated by both drivers and residents since they are so much quieter than their conventional diesel-fuelled counterparts. Based on this positive experience, the City of Stockholm decided to replace a further eight to 10 diesel waste collection trucks with biogas vehicles.

How did the measure progress?

In order to support the contractors to invest in clean vehicles they were offered TRENDSETTER co-financing for a part of the extra costs involved in investing in biogas trucks, up to a total of eight to 10 vehicles in the project. The entrepreneurs working for the Waste Management Administration then undertook to use those vehicles in their daily operations. After the introduction of the biogas collection vehicles an evaluation was carried out, covering operation as well as residents’ attitudes to the new vehicles. Eight biogas-fuelled waste collection trucks were purchased within the framework of the TRENDSETTER project. This made a total of 10 biogas-fuelled waste collection vehicles in operation in Stockholm, corresponding to almost 12 percent of the total fleet. The biogas lorries were five Scania P114 and one Mercedes 2628 Econic.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Overall, drivers were satisfied with the new vehicles and were positive about the clean vehicles initiative. Higher biogas consumption compared to diesel vehicles is explained by the relatively low efficiency of the Otto engine when the load is light. Some of the vehicles initially had a very high oil consumption, although this was later adjusted.

The biogas-fuelled waste collection trucks proved reliable, with no breakdowns or technical problems reported. Drivers were not aware of significant differences, although the biogas vehicles made less noise, were less smelly and produced fewer pollutant emissions. On the other hand, acceleration was not as good as in diesel vehicles and the range was shorter. During the project period:

  • annual fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by 65 tonnes/year;
  • emissions of nitrogen oxides were reduced by 0.33 tonnes/year;
  • emissions of particulate matter were reduced by 0.014 tonnes/year; and
  • six waste collection vehicles drove a total of 141,328 km and consumed 91,582 Nm3 of biogas.

By 2010, the number of biogas-fuelled waste collection vehicles had increased to around 70, close to 100 percent of the fleet. The amount of organic waste being collected is continuously increasing. Waste is collected from restaurants and apartment buildings and transported to a biogas production facility. The city’s goal is for 35 percent of household organic waste (including food waste from restaurants) to be used to produce biogas.

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