In July, Berlin’s Senate Department for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection gave approval to a major fermentation plant for organic waste. Now a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony has kicked off construction of the biogas plant in BSR Ruhleben, located in Berlin-Westend. Vera Gade-Butzlaff, CEO of BSR, says the new plant will be capable of displacing 2.5 million litres of diesel per year, by fuelling BSR’s fleet of natural gas powered refuse collection vehicles.
“About half of all collective kms of BSR in the future will be accomplished as climate-neutral. This usage also makes us less dependent on – predictably upward trending – price development of fossil fuels,” Gade-Butzlaff said.
By the end of 2012, and every year thereafter, the biogas generated from organic waste will be the equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 5000 tons. When utilised as a diesel-substitute biomethane (upgraded biogas) will be tax free until end of 2015.
Berlin’s Senator for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection, Katrin Lompscher; Spandau district councilor Carsten-Michael Röding (Department of Building, Planning and Environmental Protection); and BSR CEO Vera Gade-Butzlaff officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony.
In her speech Senator Lompscher said, “That [biomethane-powered waste collection] will be done while also contributing to the noise and dust reduction. The biogas garbage trucks emit no diesel and they are clearly quieter than conventional diesel vehicles.”
In a climate protection agreement set for the 2005 – 2010 period, BSR was hired as the first municipal company to set ambitious climate targets. The company aimed to reduce CO2 emissions by 121,000 tonnes and build a fleet of fully equipped low emission waste collection vehicles. As the final report of this agreement showed, the goal was not only met but exceeded, with the saving equivalent to 130,000 tonnes CO2 being achieved.
BSR has operated a fleet of 50 Daimler CNG waste collection trucks, a filling station and a CNG fast filling a mobile station that has been operational since 2002, also adding another 30 vehicles and a second station Fast Fill in 2010 and plans to expand the fleet of 140 CNG vehicles and build another fast-fill CNG station in 2012.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a BSR press release)