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Milton Keynes wins cash to convert collection lorries

Milton Keynes Council is aiming to covert its waste collection lorries to run on biofuel after winning government funding.

The council has been award almost £1.8 million from the government’s Weekly Collection Support Scheme to buy new chassis for 13 food and garden waste vehicles, which will allow them to run on biomethane produced from the borough’s organic waste.

The £250m funding scheme, set up by the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government, is aimed at supporting weekly refuse collection.

Milton Keynes Council already runs weekly waste collections and some key industry commentators have criticised the value for money of some 90 schemes awarded funding.

However, the council said that its lorry conversions will keep down the cost of weekly collections. David Hopkins, the council’s member for environment and waste, said: “This funding will enable us to make further savings, using our own waste to fuel our collections vehicles, providing a sustainable solution to rising fuel costs.”

The council added that the converted vehicles would have lower carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions that diesel. The new vehicles should be in use by 2014

Milton Keynes Council is also planning to build its own AD plant, scheduled to open in 2014, to create the biomethane for produce fuel or the adapted vehicles. All food and garden waste collected is currently taken to a specialist plant in Cambridgeshire where it is turned into compost.

The council also signed a contract with FCC Environment deal which will create solid recovered fuel by treating the authority’s black bag waste at the company’s new recycling facility in Bletchley. The move will divert 50,000 tonnes of household waste from landfill each year from next April, according to the council

Milton Keynes is planning to treat black bag waste via its own facility, the Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park in Old Wolverton, once it becomes operational, expected to be in 2016.

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