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Meat waste to power a third of London buses from 2016

Transport for London is to run almost 3,000 buses on a fuel made from recycled meat fat from March.

London buses are set to be meat-powered in the next few years

A third of London buses are to be powered in part by cooking oil and meat fat from March, saving the waste product from landfill.

Two of the capital’s bus operators, Stagecoach and Metroline, have signed deals with Argent Energy to supply them with B20 green diesel.

This ‘cleaner burning’ fuel is made from blending diesel with renewable biodiesel from waste products, including cooking oil and tallow from the meat processing trade, and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 21,000 tonnes each year.

By March, almost 3,000 of the capital’s 8,900 buses will be powered by the B20 fuel blend.

London Mayor Boris Johnson’s deputy for environment and energy, Matthew Pencharz, said: “As a leading global city London has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gases and minimising our contribution to climate change.

“Just a fortnight after the Mayor’s visit to the Paris conference on preventing global warming, I am very pleased to announce that nearly a third of London’s buses will now be running on biodiesel, slashing the overall carbon emissions of the fleet and making use of fuels that would otherwise be clogging up our drains.

"These buses will be a proud addition to what is already the greenest bus fleet in the world, including hybrid, pure electric and pure hydrogen vehicles.”

'Better for everyone'

The capital’s bus fleet already has more than 1,500 hybrid electric buses and 15 pure electric buses.

More than 2,000 older buses have been retrofitted with selective catalytic reduction, reducing their NOx emissions by up to 88% per bus, according to Transport for London (TfL).

The number of hybrid buses will increase to more than 1,700 during 2016 – a figure that will represent more than 20% of the fleet. TfL will also soon be trialling a techology that enables diesel electric hybrid buses to wirelessly charge their batteries while they wait at bus stands.

Mike Weston, director of buses at Transport for London (TfL), said: "Our bus fleet is now making a major contribution to improving air quality and bringing down CO2 emissions. This improvement, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 21,000 tonnes each year, is being introduced now with no extra spend needed and no long delay for the fitting of new kit.

"It’s just one of a number of measures we are taking to make London’s environment better for everyone."

The GLA is undertaking a cost benefit analysis of biodiesel use and other renewable fuels in local authority fleets to help boroughs decide where the best opportunities lie to cut carbon and improve local air quality.

Are you travelling over the festive period? Plan your journey here.

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