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Patchway joins revolutionary decarbonisation grass-cutting project

An innovation project looking at how grass cuttings can be used to generate energy and reduce South Gloucestershire Council’s carbon emissions is to be rolled out in Patchway.  

The project called Greenprint is part of ADEPT Live Labs 2: Decarbonising Local Roads in the UK, which is a three-year, UK-wide £30 million programme funded by the Department for Transport that aims to decarbonise the local highway network. 

Greenprint is investigating potential new ways grass cuttings could be used to produce biomethane fuel for vehicles and a road surfacing material called biochar. 

As part of the scheme, the council is using new machinery to cut and collect grass from highway verges and other green spaces, rather than leaving it on the ground. The project aims to mix the collected grass with the council’s food waste and take it to an energy-from-waste plant where the mixture will be subject to a process called anaerobic digestion. 

Reducing the frequency of grass cuts is also a key element of the trial as this encourages greater biodiversity and increases the levels of carbon stored in the soil. 

It is hoped the Greenprint project will reduce the council’s carbon emissions, encourage wildflowers, help insects to thrive and allow the soil to store more carbon. 

The council successfully trialled the new grass cutting arrangement in Yate last year. Following consultation with the Town Council, from this spring it is being rolled out to verges and green spaces in Patchway as well as Bradley Stoke, Kingswood, Staple Hill and Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford and Thornbury.  

The project is being carried out jointly with West Sussex County Council, who will be trialling similar technologies. In response to the Climate and Nature Emergency, both councils have set commitments to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

Greenprint, was awarded £4 million by ADEPT Live Labs 2, to examine how changing the way local authority grass areas are managed can provide a source of materials and fuels to decarbonise highway operations, as well as supporting other benefits such as increasing biodiversity and resilience to the changing climate. 

The project will last three years (2023-2026) followed by a further five years of monitoring of the environmental benefits, impact, and costs. This information, as well as feedback from the community, will be used to decide whether to make the changes permanent. No date has been set for this decision. 

Mayor of Patchway, Cllr Dayley Lawrence said, ’It is brilliant that Patchway is now included in this exciting project that will contribute to increasing biodiversity and sustainability in the town and wider area, as well as the testing of cut grass in other technologies!’. 

Read more on the project here:

Greenprint Live Labs 2 FAQs April 2024
Download PDF • 780KB

18 April 2024

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