An eco-friendly recycling vehicle with high-tech safety equipment has gone on trial in St Albans District.
The eCollect is an all-electric refuse collection vehicle, an emissions free alternative to conventional diesel-powered trucks.
St Albans City and District Council and its waste contractor Veolia have been testing the vehicle which has been designed to be cost-efficient, improve local air quality by reducing emissions and help the Council towards its target of carbon neutrality by 2030.
The eCollect can take 20 tonnes of waste on board during an eight-hour shift before it needs recharging which can be done overnight.
It is also fitted with five cameras to improve safety, giving drivers a 360 degree view when turning or reversing and allowing them to monitor the work area.
The vehicle is produced by Dennis Eagle, a UK-based original equipment manufacturer.
If the trial proves successful, the Council and Veolia may look to move towards an all-electric fleet of waste and recycling collection vehicles.
Councillor Dr Allison Wren, lead councillor for waste and recycling, saw the eCollect in action during a garden waste round in Redbourn.
She said: “This is an excellent innovation by a British manufacturer that fits in with our priority of improving the local environment.
“As a Council, we have recognised the climate emergency and are taking numerous actions to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increase the amount of waste that we recycle.
“Using electric vehicles wherever possible is one of the ways to reach our target and It was very useful for me to see this vehicle in operation.”
Nikki Mills, contract manager for Veolia St Albans, said of the eCollect vehicle: “We are pleased to be trialling this brand new technology with our partners at St Albans City and District Council. The vehicle is a big leap forward in helping to deliver a cleaner and greener recycling industry, and is one of the many innovations Veolia is exploring to help the District reach its net zero carbon emissions target by 2030.”
The Council has previously trialled an all-electric street washer which was used in St Allbans City Centre and is to trial an electric barrow bike that can be used to empty litter bins.
Cllr Wren said: “Veolia and the Council must continue to provide an efficient household waste and recycling service whilst reducing our environmental impacts and improving the environmental sustainability of all our operations and services. All-electric vehicles are an important part of this plan”.