In Ostholstein, a first step has been taken towards climate-neutral waste collection: The Zweckverband Ostholstein intermunicipal association has received a total of 2.266 million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure within the framework of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II) for the acquisition of three waste collection vehicles powered by fuel cells.

The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ). The funding support covers 90 percent of the additional investment required for the fuel cell drive vehicle compared to a conventional diesel drive vehicle.

The first fuel cell-powered waste collection vehicles are scheduled for delivery in early 2023. Currently, there are only a few manufacturers producing such vehicles with very small quantities (of approximately 50 – 200 vehicles per year) – and their order books are well filled.

The waste collection vehicles are to be refuelled, if possible, at a public hydrogen filling station in the vicinity. There are currently several interested parties who are planning on establishing the refuelling infrastructure by the beginning of 2023.

Due to the requirements for the rural area of Ostholstein regarding the implementation of the Clean Vehicle Directive and in relation to the current greenhouse gas balance, the Zweckverband Ostholstein has been working intensively on the topic of hydrogen since the end of 2019.

In doing so, the Zweckverband Ostholstein has always kept an eye on the resources and possibilities available to it and in the region. During waste incineration at the Neustadt waste incineration plant, the energy produced is converted into “green electricity”, which could be used to generate green hydrogen to operate the waste collection vehicles in a climate-neutral manner.