Mladá Boleslav Transforms Food Waste into Fuel: City Buses Powered by Innovative Biogas Project

In a groundbreaking initiative, city buses in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, are now fueled by waste from canteens and expired food, marking a significant step towards sustainable urban transportation. This unique project, recently launched by the city, aims to maximize the use of uneaten food from schools, restaurants, and residential waste bins, providing an innovative solution to both waste management and clean energy production.

The cornerstone of this initiative is a newly operational biogas station that receives food waste from various sources, including school kitchens and restaurants. Waste bins in residential areas also contribute to the collection process. The collected food waste undergoes a transformative process at the biogas station, converting it into biogas, which serves as the primary fuel for the city’s buses.

Radek Lizec, the managing director of Compag, the technical company overseeing waste management in the city and its surroundings, describes this venture as a “pilot project” that explores the potential of transforming food waste into a sustainable energy source for public transportation.

The operational process involves trucks transporting food leftovers to the biogas station, where the waste is deposited into a storage tank. Subsequently, the waste undergoes a biological reaction within a specialized facility, generating biomethane gas. Once cleaned, this gas becomes the fuel that powers the city buses. Additionally, surplus gas can be sold to the regular gas network, contributing to broader energy applications such as cooking meals.

By focusing on processing leftovers from canteens and expired food, this waste management initiative aligns with ecological and economic objectives. Lizec emphasizes the positive impact of reducing landfill waste, stating, “In recent years, the fees for landfilling waste have dramatically increased. Thanks to this processing, we can significantly reduce the waste we send to landfills.”

As a pilot project, the biogas initiative in Mladá Boleslav holds promising potential for future expansion. The city aims to evolve the operation to process all municipal waste, contributing to broader sustainability goals and the production of alternative fuels. This innovative biogas project not only addresses waste management challenges but also serves as a model for incorporating renewable energy sources into urban transportation systems.

Article by Prague Forum

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