A document considered by the East Midlands authority set out the benefits of electric and hydrogen-powered refuse collection vehicles (RCVs), including public health benefits from lower emissions and reduced noise pollution that would improve conditions for residents and crew.

However, the document determined that more environmentally friendly RCVs would only be procured in the longer term, because ‘the step change needed to green fleet will take time’.

It said the ‘increasing obsolescence’ of its existing fleet was causing breakdowns, delaying scheduled waste collections.

The council, which is due to sign off the purchase on 4 September, has noted the ‘significant risk’ to its waste collection services if the new fleet is not available by next May.

However, its document also detailed increased lead times for placing vehicle orders, up from 10 to 18 months.

The council’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Christine Wise, said: ‘We understand that due to ageing vehicles there have been some issues and delays in collections and therefore by ensuring that we are investing in new vehicles we aim to address and resolve these problems.

‘Going forward, the council is also keen to achieve reductions in carbon emissions and improve air quality as part of its green agenda and so we are pleased to be able to begin the process of planning to implement greener vehicles.’

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