VEGETABLE oil to fuel bin lorries, more electric car charging points and grants for building improvements are among the measures to cut emissions in a new plan which has been highlighted to Rossendale councillors.

Businesses, property landlords, community groups and households may be offered grants and advice to help them install new technology such as boilers, improve building insulation or gain other energy benefits, the borough council’s overview and scrutiny committee was told at its latest meeting.

Local authorities have been set targets to become carbon neutral in coming years. This will be achieved through action including cutting fossil fuel emissions, which come from sources including burning gas or oil for heating systems in buildings and leisure centres and fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

An update on climate change activity in Rossendale last year and this coming year was given by Adam Allen, the borough’s Director of Communities, to the committee meeting.

Mr Allen said half of the Rossendale’s bin lorry fleet can now run on hydro-treated vegetable oil.

“Four refuse collection trucks currently use hydro-treated vegetable oil (also known as HVO). It reduces vehicle emissions by 90 per cent and is a really quick win. By February, we will have converted the whole fleet. That will be another quick win,” he said.

Regarding emissions from buildings, he said over 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are put into the atmosphere by the borough council’s property estate every year. This equates to  a family car being run for five million miles every year.

Mr Allen said the past year’s climate change priorities included a carbon audit of the council’s buildings and vehicles, installing electric vehicle charging points in four council car parks, launching the Rossendale Forest network, by planting new woods and helping peat bogs;  launching a Carbon Reduction Network and holding a climate change conference.

The climate change plans will go to the full council in December.