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Bluebird goes green - 14/06/2008

Bluebird Community Partnership, which provides a dial-a-ride door to door transport service, has been trying out biodiesel supplied by North Chailey company Viridine Bio Fuels after reading about it in the Mid Sussex Times.

The trial has saved Bluebird 20p a litre, but the outlook for volunteer drivers working for the ambulance service is less rosy; they are being stung by an outdated tax rate on the amount individuals can claim on business travel.

Viridine's biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines made from cooking oil recycled from restaurants and other catering outlets and locally sourced from Sussex to cut down on the carbon footprint.
Bluebird's chief executive Matt Roberts said: "We read about Viridine in the Middy before Christmas and we have just completed a month's trial which has been very successful. The biodiesel is 20p a litre cheaper than diesel and we are hoping to use it in all five of our vehicles.

"We are a charity and our dial-a-ride service costs us about £40,000 a year so usng biodiesel will help us to keep down our costs."

Viridine's productions manager Daniel Gurney, said: "At first we had a lot of customers educated about biodiesel and the environment but we have more people who are coming to us to save money."

As well as being cheaper than petroleum based diesel, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 per cent. Simon is pleased that an established organisation like Bluebird is helping to publicise its benefits to the environment and says other organisations with fleets of vehicles could be helped in the same way.

He said: "If Bluebird is going to shout about it, it just shows scepticism can be broken down."

Although Viridine has seen a rise in demand, its profits have not risen by a dramatic amount because the price of food, including cooking oils, has risen. Collectors who supply and collect the recycled cooking oil have also raised their prices as the demand for biodiesel has intensified and, at times, outstripped supply.

Article from Mid Sussex Times

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