Our Society's Worker Ants: Heavy Vehicles
We often talk about greener light vehicles, but we must not forget that heavy vehicles (garbage trucks, buses, semi-trailer trucks, etc) play a very important role, both in keeping our society running and in polluting our planet. Today we look at some greener heavy truck alternatives.
Read on for more details and photos.
The First Garbage Truck Powered by... Garbage
The town of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, about 200 miles North of London, now has what is probably the world's first garbage truck that is powered entirely by garbage. That makes for a good headline, though in reality, this isn't exactly Mr. Fusion on a DeLorean yet... Read more about it here: First Garbage Truck Powered by... Garbage.
Wal-Mart Tests New Diesel-Hybrid Trucks, Reclaimed Cooking Grease and LNG Fuels
Logistics doesn't get much bigger than Wal-Mart, and so anything they can do to reduce even by a few % is going to have a pretty big impact when measured in barrels of oil or tons of CO2. They have already surpassed one of their goal, which was to achieve a 25% efficiency improvement between 2005 and 2008, and now they are testing some new ways to improve their massive truck fleet with diesel-hybrid, reclaimed cooking grease and liquid natural gas fuels. Read more about it here: Wal-Mart Tests New Diesel-Hybrid Trucks, Reclaimed Cooking Grease and LNG Fuels.
Hybrid Garbage Truck
Hybrid garbage trucks are a lot like solar powered trash compactors: namely, somewhat ironic. Still, the fact of the matter is that garbage trucks are big, heavy and, for the foreseeable future, going to continue hauling our garbage away. These trucks almost always run on diesel and, aside from their greenhouse gas implications, also contribute to poor air quality in communities. Seattle has begun addressing the emissions from their garbage truck fleet by using ultra-low sulphur diesel and a B20 blend of biodiesel, as well as by retrofitting the trucks to improve emissions controls.
Now Volvo has gotten into the hybrid craze by launching "two hybrid refuse trucks into trials in regular daily operations in Sweden." More on how they work after the fold. Read more about it here: It's Still Garbage, But At Least It's a Hybrid!.