AES Bord na Móna has begun trialling the first fully electric refuse collection vehicle in Ireland.

Waste collected from domestic and commercial Irish customers could soon be powering a fleet of zero-emission electric bin trucks, as leading Irish waste collection and processing company, AES Bord na Móna, trials the first fully electric refuse collection vehicle (eRCV) in Ireland this week.

On its first day in operation in Ireland, the Dennis Eagle eRCV showcased its capabilities at the new Mount Argus residential complex in Harold’s Cross.

“Not only do electric RCVs reduce carbon emissions and contribute to our sustainability goals, they are quieter and cleaner to run, thereby benefitting the urban environments in which they will operate”

The development, built by Marlet Property Group, consists of 179 highly energy-efficient apartments and a number of sustainability features incorporated into its design. The truck finished its day at the Covanta-operated Dublin Waste to Energy facility, which has the capacity to convert 600,000 tonnes of waste originally destined for landfill or export into electricity for over 100,000 homes. The exercise was conducted without complication and demonstrated in real time the concept of ‘closed loop’ resource recovery.

“The move to electric powered waste collection forms part of the ongoing commitment by AES to deliver the most environmentally conscious waste collection and processing services possible,” explained Ciaran Brady, head of Resource Recovery at AES.

Rolling quietly into the future

Bin man in front of an electric bin lorry.

The AES Bord na Móna electric bin truck at Marlet Property Group’s new Mount Argos development in Harold’s Cross, Dublin

“Not only do electric RCVs reduce carbon emissions and contribute to our sustainability goals, they are quieter and cleaner to run, thereby benefitting the urban environments in which they will operate.”

AES collects over 450,000 tonnes of waste annually from over 135,500 customers across Ireland. Via long-term agreements with major Irish Energy-from-Waste plants, electricity generated from non-recyclable (general refuse) waste will power the eRCVs, resulting in a sustainable ‘closed loop’ system where the waste collected is ultimately converted to the same electricity that powers the refuse trucks themselves.

In August 2017, AES also commenced operation of a tyre recycling facility in Drogheda, comprising of a 13-acre site and offering 70,000 square feet of production space. The facility can handle more than 30,000 tonnes of tyres per annum, and is the only facility of its kind in Ireland.

Parent company Bord na Móna is also a significant player within the renewable energy sector in Ireland, and in particular a significant contributor to the electricity grid. For example, Bord na Móna has involvement with five commissioned wind farms that are supplying energy to the national grid (including the first commercial windfarm in the State located in Mayo and now in its 23rd year of continuous electricity generation) and operates a plant powered by renewable gas produced at the Bord na Móna Resource Recovery landfill and compost facility in Kildare.

“Delivering considered and sustainable waste solutions is a core principle for AES, and this announcement is the latest step in delivering on this promise,” said Brady. “For example, we have successfully partnered with an anaerobic digestion plant in the Midlands to convert food waste into electricity, heat, and natural agricultural fertiliser. Last month, we completed a major upgrade of Materials Recovery Facility that processes the recyclables we collect.

“This upgrade significantly improves our recovery yield and purity from recycling waste, while allowing flexibility to respond to changing inbound material composition as volumes of paper within our recycling waste decrease. We consider waste collection holistically and ecologically, ensuring the maximum benefit is extracted from it as much as possible for the benefit of the environment.”

Pictured at top: Kieran Mullins, Project Director at Dublin Waste to Energy Ltd, and Ciarán Brady, Head of Resource Recovery at AES Bord Na Móna,  with the electric bin truck at Covanta’s Dublin Waste to Energy facility

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 19 June, 2020

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