Following agreement on funding with the Council, Biffa – which holds the contract for waste collection and street cleaning in the city – has placed an order for 27 new electric refuse collection vehicles (e-RCVs) to replace diesel wagons which have reached the end of their natural lifespans.

The move is a big step towards delivering the Council’s zero carbon action plan which aims to halve its direct carbon emissions by 2025 as part of a wider drive to make Manchester zero carbon by 2038 at the latest in response to the climate change emergency. The switch to electric eRCVs will save around 900 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, cutting around 4% of the Council’s current direct annual emissions.

The commitment will cost the Council £9.787m, marginally more than it would have cost for a like-for-like replacement with diesel vehicles but as well as the clear environmental benefits the cost of the new vehicles over their 10 year expected lifespan, the cost difference  will be largely offset by energy savings and the availability of grants.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “As a council we’ve said all along that we will have to do things very differently to realise our ambition to dramatically cut carbon emissions.

“We’re proud, together with Biffa, that our waste collection service is in the forefront of the forward-thinking response to the climate change challenge and we hope it will inspire others to follow suit.

“The only difference to the new service that residents should notice is that the new vehicles are quieter and cleaner.”


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