Council to spend £3.6m replacing diesel refuse lorries as it's 'not ready' for greener fuels

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has agreed to spend GBP3.6 million on replacing its entire fleet of diesel-fuelled waste trucks. All of the 17 vehicles are now six years old, and, the council says, reaching the end of their useful lives. They will all be replaced over the next three years, but the council says it is “not ready” to move to vehicles powered by alternative, greener fuels.

Alex Horwood, executive member for neighbourhood services, told a meeting of the governing group on Thursday (November 29): “All of the [borough’s] 145,000 residents expect their waste to be collected in a timely, efficient, robust manner each and every week. “In order to provide the service we require a fleet of well-maintained, reliable vehicles that are fit for purpose.”

Read More

More headlines from East Surrey

  • Hunt for ‘extremely vulnerable’ woman
  • Council to spend £3.6m replacing diesel refuse lorries as it's 'not ready' for greener fuelsWanted man arrested
  • Council to spend £3.6m replacing diesel refuse lorries as it's 'not ready' for greener fuelsShop calls time on 51 years
  • Council to spend £3.6m replacing diesel refuse lorries as it's 'not ready' for greener fuelsFears for future of libraries

Addressing the environmental question, he said: “If we could, tomorrow we would go out and buy electric vehicles, but I tell you what, we are not ready for the electric market. “There are some councils that are, but very few, and we have to wait and see and monitor and see how the other councils are doing with regards to electric, hybrid and also compressed gas.”

Electric trucks would cost GBP100,000 more each, he said, which was something not to be taken lightly.

Read More

Some other councils are moving towards alternative fuels, the meeting was told. Greenwich Borough Council is currently trialling a fully electric truck, and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council staff have visited Leeds, where a fleet of 30 waste vehicles run on compressed gas. The council report on the matter stated that when the fleet was next up for renewal in another six years’ time, the situation regarding more environmentally-friendly trucks may be different.

However, Green councillor for Redhill East, Jonathan Essex, urged the authority to move faster, and questioned why an options appraisal on how to replace the waste fleet carried out by the council had focused on air quality, and not carbon emissions. “I understand the rationale for not going forward with the alternative vehicles, as this is relatively new,” he said. “Someone has to lead but we are choosing that is not to be us, it has to be others.”

Read More

He added: “I accept that going for a Euro VI [rather than an older Euro V emissions standard] diesel there is a reduction in air pollution emissions and that is minimised but I don’t think keeping with diesel vehicles in any way is a way to minimise carbon emissions which cause climate change.”

Leader Mark Brunt said the council was not “closing the door” to other options, and would be silly to ignore them, if they became viable. “If we might be able to review this, and in two or three years’ time make the change, that would be amazingly brilliant,” said Cllr Essex. The authority will dip in to its reserves to pay for the vehicles over the next three years.

It plans to buy three new trucks next year, at a cost of GBP600,000.

Another seven, costing GBP1.5 million, would be bought in 2020/2021, and another seven in the following year.

The council will also spend GBP360,000 on refurbishing waste lorries in the same period.

You may also like...