Buckinghamshire Council’s recycling and waste contractor, Veolia is introducing improvements at the London Road East Depot in Amersham to help create a more sustainable waste contract.
The first improvement is the installation of 136 energy efficient solar panels to the roof of a vehicle workshop on site. The panels will harness solar energy and use it to power the activities of the operation. As well as being a truly renewable energy source the use of solar energy will reduce carbon emissions on site by 12.25 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to planting 563 trees. In the first 17 days the solar panels have generated 1815.86 kWh, a home will generally use around 3600 kWh per year so the panels have already generated enough energy to power a home for 6 months.
To enhance biodiversity, beehives have been installed at the depot and wildflower meadow areas planted to encourage bees to use the hives. This is with the assistance and advice of the Chalfonts’ Beekeepers Society. Veolia has further plans to install bird boxes and bug hotels on site this year and work with local primary schools to make the same improvements for biodiversity at their sites. Selected schools will be provided with a biodiversity pack that includes bird boxes, bug hotels and their own wildflower seeds to create insect friendly havens nearby.
Furthermore, 6 electric vehicle charging points have been installed at the depot for the future use of electric cars and vans by employees on site.
Lucy Murphy, Veolia’s Senior Contract Manager Buckinghamshire, said:
“We’re very excited to support Buckinghamshire Council in their efforts to provide a sustainable environment. The biodiversity crisis is a worldwide problem, but it’s also a very local issue which means that even small changes can have a big impact.
“Improving biodiversity at our sites can help increase numbers of pollinators, promote cleaner air and water and enhance the mental and physical health for people working and living near these wasted spaces.
“We’re delighted to be able to extend these small changes to the community by inviting local schools to plant wildflowers and install safe havens for insects and birds with the provision of a kit from Veolia.”
Cllr Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, commented:
“The new sustainable installations at the London Road East Depot in Amersham are a great example of the work being done in Buckinghamshire to improve our local environment.
“The introduction of solar panels and the use of solar energy on site demonstrates Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to reducing our county’s environmental impact and promoting sustainability. Between 2007 and 2017 Buckinghamshire reduced its carbon emissions by 24% and I’m proud that Buckinghamshire Council is helping to further this reduction.
“Working closely with Veolia, I’m delighted to be able to involve local primary schools in smaller biodiversity projects to promote environmentally friendly behaviours to our youngest residents and contribute to a cleaner and greener environment for our communities.”