Council to purchase £2.6m fleet of ‘state-of-the-art’ refuse vehicles

A fleet of ‘state-of-the-art’ refuse collection vehicles will be bought by the district council in a bid to be an ‘efficient, entrepreneurial and effective local authority.’

Portfolio holder for the environment Coun Tony Bridges won his fellow councillor’s approval for the £2.6 million scheme during a meeting on Thursday.

He said: “These are state-of-the-art vehicles, they will be more efficient and they will have metric motors which will be quieter and help efficiency.”

In forming his recommendation to transfer from the current lease hire arrangement, Coun Bridges had contacted Coun Sid Dennis, who runs his own refuse fleet ‘significantly well’ and recommended purchasing the vehicles.

Seventeen of the district council’s 23-strong fleet come to an end of their current lease contract in March and will be replaced with 16 of the new vehicles using the council’s capital reserves.

In owning its own fleet, ELDC anticipates making overall savings and will benefit from a more flexible approach to their use.

Further savings and efficiencies are also expected through the inclusion of in-cab technology to optimise collection rounds.

Although the purchase of a technologically advanced fleet was welcomed overall, Coun Mark Anderson and Coun Tony Howard both queried whether the vehicles could become redundant in the future, in a way replaceable lease hire options would not.

Coun Howard said: “While they are up to date now, technology moves at a rapid rate, so the worry is, we will be building in some in built redundancy and will be less efficient as the years go on and we will preclude the opportunity of moving to different fuels.”

Coun Bridges made assurances there was a ‘very robust’ maintenance contract, to alleviate Coun Howard’s concerns.