Smith Electric Van to Run of Recycled Waste

The electricity to power the all-electric van will be produced by the Huddersfield 'Energy from Waste' plant

Published: 28-Jan-2009

In what is believed to be a ‘world first’ Kirklees Council will next week be putting into action an electronic refuse collection van that will be powered by the rubbish it collects.

The council is launching a unique recycling concept on January 29 when it becomes the proud owner and operator of Yorkshire’s first high-performance, all-electric van which will be used to empty 25 newly-installed split litter/recycling bins in Huddersfield town centre.

The battery-powered vehicle will be recharged with electricity generated by non-fossil fuel from the Energy from Waste (EfW) plant at Emerald Street, Huddersfield. This will include the waste collected from the town centre bins. This energy will be produced by the EfW plant using the litter collected in the new bins, as well as household waste from grey bins.

The 25 new split bins are being supplied by Wybone Ltd, and will provide a separate section for cans, plastic and paper which will be clearly marked. The bins will be emptied daily and will be strategically sited near food retailers and places where people eat their lunch and generate this type of recyclable waste.

The items deposited in the recycling section of the split bins will be taken to the council’s recycling facility at Emerald Street where it will be sorted further at the MRF (Materials Recycling Facility) before being recycled. The new electric vehicle is being supplied by Smith Electric Vehicles and will help the council reduce its carbon footprint. The vehicle is rated as having zero emission and cuts out 100% of the two biggest air quality pollutants – nitrous oxides and particulate matter.

The trial scheme will initially see the electric vehicle working in Huddersfield town centre, emptying the split bins and responding to daily incidents of dumping and fly-tipping.

Cabinet member Cllr David Sheard said: “We are advised by the manufacturer that this will be the first vehicle worldwide that will be powered by the waste it collects and which then gets recycled as electricity.

“Once again Kirklees is leading the way and taking proactive steps to improve its environmental performance and reduce its impact on climate change. The new electric vehicle has zero emissions, low ‘fuel’ costs (electricity is cheaper than diesel), low maintenance costs and benefits from zero-fee road fund licence. It is practically silent and has a battery with a potential life of five years which is also 100% recyclable unlike lead acid batteries. One battery charge can power the vehicle for over 100 miles.
“If this initiative is successful there are other vehicles used across the council that we would look to replace with electric vehicles once they reach the end of their useful life.”

Cllr Andrew Cooper, Green Party leader, said: “The new split recycling/litter bins will help the council further improve its recycling performance which is now approaching 25% and a landfill diversion rate which hit 80% towards the end of last year. The electric vehicle which will service these bins will rate as zero emission unlike its existing equivalent vehicle which emits 18.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. This new initiative demonstrates our dedication to delivering effective services in the most efficient and environmentally responsible manner.”

The council has funded the purchase of the electric vehicle through its Council Wide Initiative (CWI) Transport Allocation, which was developed to encourage the use of cleaner fuels, reduce the need for car travel and reduce carbon emissions.

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