Manchester City Council and Biffa have together launched 27 brand-new zero emissions refuse collection vehicles as part of the local authority’s effort to tackle air pollution.

The city council, which backed the move with a £10m investment, decided to transform its fleet with electric refuse vehicles following two years of successful trials with Biffa.

The council hopes the decision to take the electric route will help it make significant progress against its zero-carbon action plan which aims to halve its direct emissions by 2025 as part of a wider drive to make Manchester carbon free by 2038.

Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, commented: ‘We’re proud that Manchester City Council, working with Biffa, has made the most significant investment of any council in emission-free refuse collection vehicles and that the waste and recycling service is playing its part in binning pollution.’

The launch of the fleet in Manchester is also part of Biffa’s sustainability strategy, ‘Resourceful, Responsible’, which includes a commitment to tackling climate change and a pledge to cease buying fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030.

Michael Topham, chief executive at Biffa, commented: ‘We are delighted to be launching the UK’s largest ever fleet of electric refuse collection vehicles and supporting one of the UK’s top cities to become even greener.

‘Biffa has a longstanding partnership with Manchester City Council, and we are committed to helping the city to halve its direct emissions by 2025. We are confident this is just the start and we will see many more electric vehicles in action across the country in coming years.’