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UK electric refuse collection fleets expansion

As the City of London Corporation claims it will become the first UK local authority to run a fully electric refuse collection fleet, Biffa has rolled out 27 zero emission electric refuse collection vehicles (ERCVs) across Manchester.

Following a successful trial, City of London Corporation has received the first of five new ERCVs which will collect residents’ waste and recycling within the Square Mile.

Pascal Hauret, managing director of municipal for Veolia UK, who will be operating the ERCVs, said, “This new electric solution now opens new possibilities for cleaner air in cities, with the potential of recharging the vehicles using electricity generated from the waste they carry via energy recovery facilities.

“It marks a major step forward towards carbon net zero targets and highlights how local authorities can drive sustainability by using green solutions to address their environmental challenges.”

The new 18- and 26-tonne trucks can complete a full shift on a single charge and will enter operation this month. Veolia has also developed a smart charging system to reduce the reliance on the local electricity supply – it compares data including shift patterns, available generation and vehicle power requirements using an algorithm that determines vehicle charging schedules.

In Manchester, the 27 new ERCVs have been purchased in partnership with the City Council, which has invested £10m into the initiative. The deal is part of Biffa’s Resourceful and Responsible sustainability strategy, which the company said includes a commitment to tackling climate change and a pledge to cease buying fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030.

Following the company’s 2-year trial with Manchester City Council, Michael Topham, Biffa chief executive, said, “We are delighted to be launching the UK’s largest ever fleet of electric refuse collection vehicles and supporting one of the UK’s top cities to become even greener.

“Biffa has a longstanding partnership with Manchester City Council, and we are committed to helping the city to halve its direct emissions by 2025. We are confident this is just the start and we will see many more electric vehicles in action across the country in coming years.”