Generating energy from waste may seem like a dream, but one British borough recently announced that they have come as close to closing that loop as anyone in the world. Kirklees Council has adapted their municipal garbage truck to be powered by the very trash that it collects!
The van is a Smith Edison Transit truck that goes around collecting rubbish from 25 bins that are located around the city. This rubbish is then taken to the Energy from Waste power station that generates electricity that powers the truck that runs around the city collecting the trash – and so the circle is completed.
The Smith Edison van has been fitted with a 40kWh lithium-ion battery that provides the truck with a maximum speed of 50mph and a range of 100 miles. Not all the trash is used to power this vehicle though – the trash is also used to power the town. The Electricity from Waste power station provides around 10 megawatts into the national grid.