Recycling, using less water, and using energy-efficient light bulbs — these are just a few of the many ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint. Another major step is reducing pollution, which can be achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as by using less gasoline. For many, this means riding a bike when you may otherwise have taken a car, or carpooling to reduce the number of cars on the road. However, a UK bus and coach company, Bath Bus Company, has taken efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a step further, creating the first bus ever to run entirely on human and food waste.

 

This new “Bio-Bus” is seeking to curb the levels of gas emissions being released into the atmosphere by running on a fuel which comes from natural waste as opposed to oil. This natural fuel comes in the form of bio-methane gas, which is produced through the treatment of sewage and food waste. Running on a single tank of this gas, which would take approximately the annual waste of five people to produce, this 40-seat Bio-Bus can travel up to 186 miles.

 

The Bio-Bus is powered largely by people in the local area, including perhaps those on the bus itself, according to GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq (washingtontimes.com)

The Bio-Bus is powered largely by people in the local area, including perhaps those on the bus itself, according to GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq (washingtontimes.com)

While the Bio-Bus will serve to transport travelers to locations between the airports in Bath and Bristol, it could set the stage for more and more vehicles when it comes to running on this kind of sustainable, emission-reducing fuel.

 

Furthermore, the bio-methane gas that fuels the Bio-Bus, which is produced by GENeco’s Bristol sewage treatment works through a process called anaerobic digestion, may entirely change the way we see waste. Chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bio-resources Association, Charlotte Morton, stated in this regard,

GENeco’s Bio-Bus is an excellent demonstration of bio-methane’s unique benefits; decarbonizing areas other renewables can’t reach. The bus also clearly shows that human poo and our waste food are valuable resources. Food which is unsuitable for human consumption should be separately collected and recycled through anaerobic digestion into green gas and bio-fertilizers, not wasted in landfill sites or incinerators.”

 

The Bio-Bus allows us to take a major stride in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint, and that fact in and of itself is extremely impressive and invaluable. However, what’s even more incredible about this major step in the UK is that it is not the first. Just earlier this year, a Cannock branch of the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s became the first to run entirely on bio-methane gas produced using food waste from the items that it cannot sell in its store.

 

These developments clearly demonstrate the progress being made in the UK when it comes to how we can create more sustainable habits using materials which exist naturally around us. By bringing the concept of using bio-methane gas to power supermarkets and now public transportation to fruition, the UK positions itself at the forefront of a much needed transition to overall sustainability.

 

The UK serves as a strong example of the direction in which we need to be headed as a global community. Moreover, it reminds us of the fundamental notion that we should not let what we call waste actually go to waste.

 

What do you think about creating public transportation which can run entirely on human and food waste? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi