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Waltham Forest unveils new electric waste and cleansing fleet

Waltham Forest unveils new electric waste and cleansing fleet

THE London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) has unveiled its new fleet of electric waste and recycling collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance vehicles.

The new electric ‘zero local emissions’ fleet has been supplied by Urbaser, the council’s neighbourhood services provider and includes an Electra 26t refuse collection vehicle, two Tenax International “MaxVac” 100% electric mechanical sweepers, up to four MaxVac Vanguard vacuum sweepers, 12 Nissan e-NV200 vans, two Renault Twizy electric utility vehicles and 48 items of fully electric equipment such as hedge trimmers and leaf blowers for the grounds maintenance service.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Waltham Forest Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We are taking the climate emergency extremely seriously and are looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions and minimise our impact on the environment across our key services. Introducing these vehicles to our fleet is a great step towards a cleaner, more energy-efficient and resilient borough.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with Urbaser to create a service that continues to provide our residents with the value for money they want while also prioritising local air quality and our response to the climate emergency.”

The Electra refuse truck, which will be charged at the Waltham Forest Council depot, has been designed for a 12-hour shift, to cover 1,200 lifts per day and over 60 miles. The vehicle will be working in and around Walthamstow market, the longest outdoor street market in Europe. The vehicle is fitted with a 287kWh battery pack and costs an average of £46 per day, which is approximately half the cost of running a conventional diesel refuse truck. Not only does the vehicle have zero local emissions, it is much quieter and as there are fewer moving parts, such as a gearbox and transmission, there are fewer items to service.

Once charged, the electric sweepers, which are powered by lithium and lead acid batteries, can work for up to 10 hours before they require charging. As well as delivering zero emissions the 100% Electric Tenax International “MaxVac” sweepers are 50% more energy efficient and 30% quieter compared to conventional diesel sweepers. In addition, thanks to their 48V ultra low-tension power system they ensure maximum safety for the operators. 

Pod Point charge points for the fleet of 12 electric supervisor vans have been installed at LBWF Town Hall and the council’s Low Hall depot and Jubilee Sports Ground depot, and home charge points installed at supervisors’ homes. Other charge points for the remaining electric fleet have been installed at the council’s Low Hall depot.

Javier Peiro, Managing Director, Urbaser Ltd: “Introducing this number of electric vehicles at Waltham Forest is a milestone and sets a precedent for other local authorities across the UK. We have been inspired by and taken guidance from the successful operation of alternative fuel and electric vehicles on our international contracts, in particular Barcelona.  We will continue to stay at the forefront in promoting sustainable technologies for environmental services, to address the climate emergency, reduce pollution and improve air quality locally.”

As part of its contract bid Urbaser has introduced a raft of additional measures to reduce pollution and improve recycling rates in the Borough. A fleet of the latest low emission refuse vehicles will work alongside the electric vehicles. Urbaser is also offsetting carbon emissions with a two-year tree planting scheme costing £75,000 that commenced in February 2021. The council is also the first London borough to install two permanent City Tree air biofilters at key locations to cleanse the air of pollutants and improve air quality. All weed control in public parks is carried out by non-chemical means and green waste collected from parks will be used for compost. In addition, Urbaser will support the council in achieving and maintaining Green Flag status at premier parks in the borough.

Residents are also now able to add good condition clothes and paired shoes, household batteries and small electrical items (WEEE) to their doorstep collections for reuse and recycling.

Urbaser has been working with the Council since 2013 carrying out street cleansing and grounds maintenance.  The new eight-year contract to provide neighbourhood services now also includes waste and recycling collection and has an option to extend for a further eight years.