The 26-tonne 6x2 Elite has a specially mounted crane to enable it to lift and empty underground bins and the first Terberg OmniMAX electric bin lift system in the UK to empty conventional Euro bins.

Spelthorne Borough Council business development officer Graham Boswell, who worked on the start-up of SDS two years ago, said: ‘When considering options for purchasing a new RCV, it was important that we ordered a state-of-the-art vehicle that had sufficient capacity for us to operate our commercial waste service efficiently.

‘We also wanted to be sure that we could build resilience into the underground bin collection service run by the council who own the only other dual system truck in the UK.

‘Because this is such a unique vehicle, going out to tender was a challenge because very few manufacturers could meet our requirements.

Dennis Eagle could not only supply what we wanted but outscored the competition, which was great as we have worked with so many Dennis Eagle RCVs on our domestic fleet and we knew they would build a great truck and provide excellent support.’

Mr Boswell continued: ‘Spelthorne Borough Council owns SDS Ltd and it runs independently from residential waste services, however, generating income from this stand-alone company enables us to help fund discretionary council services, such as transportation for the elderly and recreational parks for the local youth.’

Underground bins are being proposed as a solution to urban fly-tipping. Offenders often dump their rubbish alongside wheeled bins but are far less likely to do so when collection materials are kept out of sight underground.

They also save valuable space which can be used to increase floor space instead of housing bins. And by being underground, they can be positioned at the front of the property for more efficient collections without creating an eyesore.