Electric waste truck
Electric waste truck

Westminster City Council has started the full-scale rollout of the UK’s largest electric refuse collection fleet – fuelled by the waste they collect. The Council has invested £20m in the 45 new zero emission trucks in a ground-breaking initiative that will benefit residents by reducing vehicle noise, cutting air pollution and drastically reducing carbon emissions.

The new electric waste vehicles will be housed at the new fully electric depot at Landmann Way, Bermondsey. The electric vehicles will charge their batteries by drawing electric power from an adjacent energy recovery facility which uses the waste collected from homes and businesses in Westminster. The new depot and charging infrastructure which will be capable of charging 54 vehicles simultaneously.

Westminster’s fleet, operated by Veolia, completes 50 million collections every year and each electric vehicle saves up to 89% CO2e compared to a diesel-powered vehicle. Smart charging will allow the partnership to support the National Grid by receiving power at non-peak times to maximise local resources and strengthen the Grid’s resilience.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said:

“By replacing diesel-powered refuse trucks with a £20m investment in UK-built electric vehicles we are delivering on our commitment to tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality across Westminster.

The electrification will deliver an essential service that is quieter for residents, and crucially, will reduce local pollution and cut fleet carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking almost 1,300 cars off the road. This is a significant moment in the evolution of sustainable council services and we look forward to further expanding our electric vehicle fleet in the future.”

The trucks, built by Dennis Eagle Ltd in Warwick, are part of an electric refuse fleet which also includes 90 electric street cleaning vehicles ranging from e-bikes to e-sweepers.

The South East London Combined Heat and Power facility (SELCHP) will provide the site with 3,300MWh of electricity per year via a private wire to charge the e-fleet.

The Waste Fleet Electrification scheme was partially funded by the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF), set up by the GLA and managed by Amber Infrastructure. The Waste Fleet Electrification scheme met the eligibility criteria and was able to access a loan of £12m.

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