Residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are benefitting from cleaner air, as four new electric refuse vehicles are now collecting waste across the conurbation.

Following a successful trial in 2020, and subsequent successful tender process, four new Dennis Eagle e-Collect vehicles have now joined BCP Council’s fleet. The all-electric vehicles have been deployed and support the council’s climate and ecological emergency declaration, which commits to make operations carbon neutral by 2030.

Cllr Mark Anderson, portfolio holder for Environment and Waste, BCP Council, said: ‘We made a clear commitment to our residents that we would make Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole cleaner, greener and safer for everyone. These four new zero emission vehicles really are making a positive difference to our air quality, whilst also serving our residents in ensuring waste collections are timely and efficient.

‘The technology on board these vehicles is incredibly impressive, alongside their capabilities to deliver a full collection route once fully charged. The noise level is notably quieter, whilst the additional safety features are reassuring.

‘Over the coming years, we need to grow our refuse vehicle fleet, so these initial eCollect trucks will allow us the opportunity to fully evaluate their performance and effectiveness.’

Each electric refuse vehicle is expected to save between 30-40 tonnes of CO2 annually. This reduction in carbon is in line with the council’s wider sustainable fleet replacement strategy, which looks to replace 104 diesel powered vehicles over the next three years.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, deputy leader, BCP Council, added: ‘We are the first council in the south of England to purchase four refuse vehicles of this high specification, which demonstrates this council’s ongoing commitment and determination to tackle climate change. Our area is fast becoming one of the most forward-thinking city-regions in the country, which is driving innovation and change. I’m proud that we have taken such positive and bold steps which has such a positive environmental impact.

‘As sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost saving as these amazing vehicles are – there is one downside. As these vehicles are so much quieter, residents are going to have to make an extra effort to remember their bin collection days. No more dressing gown dashes with the bins when you hear the diesel trucks rumbling up the street!’

BCP Council’s agreed Fleet Replacement Programme totalling £26.9m, will see the replacement of core vehicles, plant and equipment as they come to the end of their economic life. Electric refuse vehicles are currently more expensive than their traditional diesel equivalents, however reduced running costs over the lifespan of the vehicle is expected to offset this increase in investment.

Dona Rideout, one of BCP Council’s refuse e-vehicle drivers, recently demonstrated the new technology to Cllr Mark Anderson, Cllr Phillip Broadhead, and senior officers.

Ms Rideout commented: ‘These new vehicles are great to drive and they have lots of additional features which make my job easier and safer for the crew. I’m looking forward to getting these on to our roads and it makes me proud to work for a council that values the essential service we provide. The fuel savings are going to be really noticeable I’m sure.’