What happens with our waste? Although selective sorting and recycling of materials have become commonplace, some people may not be aware that our organic waste is also used to produce biogas, which powers the buses in the European metropolis of Lille (MEL).
A delegation of the Eurometropolis, consisting of members of ambition group 9 (Towards an energy-neutral Eurometropolis) and ambition group 6 (Develop a more integrated public transport system) discovered this innovative process at the Organic Recovery Centre in Sequedin on Monday 23 November.
The site functions according to the circular economy principle: barges supply the site with organic waste (food scraps, green waste, etc.) which is used to produce compost or gas, and leave with household waste on board. Processed on site, the biogas is then transported to the adjacent bus depot. Out of the 400 buses operating in an area that exceeds MEL’s geographical boundaries, 150 buses are fuelled at Sequedin.
This entails slightly higher maintenance costs (10 to 15%), but the advantages are many: this clean energy replaces fossil natural gas and reduces the noise and most importantly the environmental footprint of the buses (no particulate emissions and significantly lower levels of CO2 emissions).
Even though this initiative is not directly applicable at other levels (it requires the replacement / modernisation of existing infrastructures, a long and costly process), it has provided the members of the working groups with a lot of ideas for a more environmentally responsible future.
Find out more (FR)