We are trialling a new way to use grass cuttings to generate energy and reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

The trial is part of a £4 million project which is funded by the Department of Transport.

In partnership with West Sussex Council, the Greenprint project is investigate ways in which cuttings could be used to make biogas, biomethane fuel for vehicles and an additive for asphalt road surfacing material called biochar.

Greenprint is part of ADEPT Live Labs 2, a 3-year, UK-wide £30 million programme funded by the Department for Transport and developed by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) that aims to decarbonise the local highway network.

What we are doing

We are using new machinery to cut and collect grass from selected green spaces and highway verges we manage, where we would normally leave the cuttings on the ground.

The number of cuts will also be reduced from typically 8 to 10 times a year to 4 to 5 times.

The cut grass will be mixed with the household food waste already collected by our waste services and taken to the energy-from-waste plant in Avonmouth. Using a process called anaerobic digestion the mixture then gets converted into biogas, biomethane or biochar.

How it helps

Existing arrangements of mowing grass frequently and leaving the short cuttings to lay on the grass can help to return nutrients to the soil.

However this doesn’t encourage other plant species to grow, which would create a more diverse natural environment and a home for more insects and other small creatures.

Leaving green areas to grow longer and removing material after cutting should:

  • enable wildflowers, insects and other creatures to thrive
  • allow the soil to store more carbon

Innovative use of the cuttings and mowing less frequently will help reduce our carbon footprint and work towards to limiting the impacts of a changing climate.


We successfully trialled the new approach across selected verges and green spaces in Yate during 2023.

From spring 2024, in addition to continuing the activity in Yate we will be operating in the following parishes:

  • Bradley Stoke
  • Kingswood
  • Patchway
  • Staple Hill and Mangotsfield
  • Stoke Gifford
  • Thornbury

The plots of grass included have been agreed following consultation with the parish and town councils.

The project duration is 3 years followed by a further 5 years of monitoring the environmental benefits, impact, and costs.

This information as well as feedback from the community will be used to decide whether we adopt the approach permanently.  No date has been set for this decision.

If you would like further information or to share your feedback on the trial, email climate.emergency@southglos.gov.uk or call 01454 868000.

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