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25th Jun, 2022

Refuse lorries going green in new trials

Ryan Smith 31st Mar, 2022

WYCHAVON Council has announced a new scheme to adapt its refuse lorry fleet to dramatically cut carbon emissions when waste is collected in Droitwich and the rest of the district.

The authority’s contractor FCC Environment is trialing two alterations.

An FCC Environment worker fills up with HVO before heading out on a collection round. s

The first sees an electric refuse collection vehicle (e-RCV) being tested. It has a 125-mile battery range and can operate for around nine hours on a single charge.

The most comprehensive long-term study of its kind is part of a wider national trial into e-RCV use with seven other councils also trialing the vehicle. The electricity network will also be examined to see if any upgrades or adaptations will be needed.


In the second trial, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) will replace diesel for other vehicles in the collection and street cleaning fleet.

Made from various vegetable oils, HVO is able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent and eliminates the need to fork out for new vehicles.

The two trials are part of Wychavon’s Intelligently Green Plan which aims to assist in the council’s target to cut carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030.

The electric refuse collection vehicle in action. s

Wychavon District Council’s executive board member for climate change, environmental policy and regulatory services, Coun Tony Rowley, said the exciting trials demonstrated the authority’s and FCC Environment’s commitment to cutting our carbon emissions.“I hope the data from this trial will bring us a step closer to the day when we have a fleet picking up waste and recycling across our district that is completely powered by low or zero carbon fuel sources.”

Dr Mike Burgess, FCC Environment’s head of development and lead for the e-RCV scheme, added: “By law, we will have to stop using vehicles powered by fossil fuels by 2050.

“This presents a challenge to companies and local authorities using big vehicles for essential services like waste collection.

“It’s not as simple as just replacing the trucks – we need to consider how we upgrade the electricity distribution network and change the way the trucks are used.”

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