Manchester to Replace Existing Garbage Trucks with Electric Alternatives

The City of Manchester, UK will replace almost half of its garbage trucks with emission-free electric alternatives. Biffa – the city contractor for waste collection and street cleaning – has ordered 27 new electric refuse collection vehicles (e-RCVs) to replace the diesel trucks currently in use which have reached the end of their natural lifespans.

“As a council we’ve said all along that we will have to do things very differently to realize our ambition to dramatically cut carbon emissions,” said councilor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighborhoods. “We’re proud, together with Biffa, that our waste collection service is in the forefront of the forward-thinking response to the climate change challenge and we hope it will inspire others to follow suit. The only difference to the new service that residents should notice is that the new vehicles are quieter and cleaner.”

The city conducted an 18-month trial project in which a fully electric Electra vehicle did the same job as its diesel equivalent with no compromise on payload or operation, along with the benefit of zero emissions. The switch to electric eRCVs is expected to save around 900 tons of carbon emissions a year, cutting around four per cent of the council’s current direct annual emissions.

The new fleet of e-RCVs will cost the city council about £9.79M (~$,2,255,623 US) – slightly more than it would have cost for diesel vehicles. The difference is expected to be offset by energy savings and the availability of grants over the new vehicles’ expected 10-year lifespan.

“This major investment in new electric bin lorries is a great example of the council’s commitment to playing its full part in tackling climate change and will also contribute to better air quality,” said councillor Angeliki Stogia, executive member for environment. “We’ve seen during the coronavirus lockdown how less pollution and better air quality benefits everyone. Climate change is an urgent challenge which we are getting on with addressing.”