Kilkenny councillor calls for ‘cow pooh’ fuelled city bus service
A KILKENNY councillor has called for a ‘cow pooh’ fuelled city bus service to help combat climate change.
Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan reiterated a demand to the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reconsider its preferred option of a diesel bus fleet for the expanded Kilkenny City Bus service.
He made the call at the March meeting of Kilkenny Municipal District Council and insisted the delays in rolling out the service could mean that electric or biogas should be the preferred option.
Cllr Noonan told KilkennyNow.ie: “’In light of what took place below our MDC meeting at the town hall on Friday last, where hundreds of Kilkenny students joined a global movement of school strikes for climate led by Greta Thunberg, I think it’s important that we meet the demands of these young people by making a bold statement here in Kilkenny.
“Diesel is not just climate polluting, it is a dangerous fuel in urban centres causing respiratory problems for children and older people.”
He added: “We have an abundance of raw material here for biogas; lots of cow pooh and food waste from our restaurant and hotel sector. A city centre located Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant could take all this waste and convert it to a usable gas to power our bus fleet; free fuel, reducing cost and ultimately bus ticket prices for customers.”
At his recent ‘Talk of the Town’ public meeting, Cllr Noonan (pictured) proposed an AD plant of similar scale to that in Ballytobin in Co Kilkenny, to be located on the brewery site and availed of by local restaurants and hotels to recycle food waste.
He added: “This would close the loop in terms of waste reduction; taking an abundant fuel source and converting it into biogas to fuel not just our city bus fleet but council vehicles also. It is completely carbon neutral and I think could be funded through EU finance under low carbon measures.”
Cllr Noonan said he had met with the NTA when the scheduled expansion of the town service was approved two years ago, but they were not for turning on either electric or biogas.
However, they have subsequently moved to bring in a pilot electric service on Cape Clear and An Post have since announced the phasing out of all its diesel and petrol fleet over the next five years.
Cllr Noonan added: “I have asked our officials to once again engage with the NTA to change tack on this. The window of time for acting on climate change is narrow and thousands of young people all over Ireland and many more globally are demanding leadership. We have a ready, free supply of energy on our doorsteps, we can and should produce this energy locally. Imagine the message it would send out; Kilkenny could become a leader in innovation towards a low carbon economy.
“Like the young people who gathered under our town hall on Friday last, I am growing impatient with the lack of vision or leadership. It’s time to show them that we have their future in mind and this would be but one small but important step forward.”