In Sheffield and Westminster it has been reported that trials of electric bin lorries will commence. The bin trucks will be powered by the very thing they are designed to collect – household waste!
Diesel lorries that had been earmarked for scrap have been instead fitted with electric engines enabling the 26 tonne bin lorries to operate using energy from collected waste. Any additional energy left over is expected to be returned to the system and be used to power homes.
These transformed vehicles have zero carbon emissions and form part of challenges to reduce the pollution levels in both areas. Illegal levels of dirty air are present in Sheffield and Westminster – following an emergency meeting in Sheffield earlier this year the city council have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Spearheading the project is Councillor Mark Jones who says:
“Using local expertise, we are piloting a new repowered 26-tonne bin lorry which is powered by the electricity produced by the waste it collects. We believe we are the first local authority ever to do this, putting Sheffield at the forefront of the green energy revolution.
“Our city is working hard to deliver clean air and green jobs. We are rightly proud of projects such as this alongside our own proposals for a clean air zone to cut nitrogen dioxide.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this bin lorry and another set to be delivered soon powering up Sheffield’s hills and leading the way for a new approach to tackle climate change and poor air quality.”
Local firm Magtec actually fit the electric engines to the lorries and their director Marcus Jenkins has revealed that a single conversion is the equivalent to removing 30 diesel cars off the road.
“The quickest and most economical way to reduce harmful emissions in our cities is to repower diesel trucks with electric drives,” he said.
Air pollution is linked to certain health conditions including asthma, dementia, mental health concerns and some cancers. Government advisory board The National Infrastructure Commission has previously called for a ban on new petrol and diesel HGVs sales by 2040.