UK’s largest fleet of electric waste vehicles brings cleaner, quieter bin collections to Manchester

Manchester

The country’s largest fleet of electric refuse vehicles (eRCV) will start taking to the streets of Manchester today as Biffa, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management business, launches 27 brand-new zero emissions vehicles which will help reduce air pollution, in partnership with Manchester City Council which is investing £10 million.

The launch marks a major step forward in Biffa’s ambition to be at the forefront of sustainable waste vehicle technology and will help reduce nitrogen dioxide levels in the city. It’s also part of the company’s sustainability strategy ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ which includes a commitment to tackling climate change and a pledge to cease buying fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030.

The roll out of the state-of-the-art fleet will begin in the Manchester area, collecting household and municipal waste in what is the UK’s biggest commitment to electric refuse vehicles yet. The benefits of electric refuse vehicles versus their diesel-powered counterparts includes:

  • Helping to reduce air pollution and improve the environment
  • Quieter but just as powerful and cost efficient to run as diesel vehicles
  • Designed for urban environments and can complete a full shift on one charge

Manchester City Council is one of the first local authorities to transform its fleet with electric refuse vehicles following two years of successful trials with Biffa. Using Biffa’s electric fleet will allow the Council to make significant progress against its zero-carbon action plan that aims to halve its direct emissions by 2025, as part of a wider drive to make Manchester carbon free by 2038.

Electric refuse collection vehicles have a vital role in reducing emissions across the waste collection industry and helping the UK reach its 2050 net zero emissions target. Biffa has already reduced its Co2 emissions by 65% since 2002 and is targeting a further 50% reduction by 2030. Phasing out diesel-powered collection vehicles and replacing them with new electric powered vehicles is a key part of reaching this target, along with more efficient collection routes, reducing the amount of waste to landfill and increased investment in recycling.

Michael Topham, Chief Executive at Biffa, commented: “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.”

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We’re proud that Manchester City Council, working with Biffa, has made the most significant investment of any council in emission-free refuse collection vehicles and that the waste and recycling service is playing its part in binning pollution.”