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Cleaner air and quieter streets

22 • March • 2019

Cleaner air and quieter streets

The first fully electric waste truck is being trialled in Manchester, bringing quieter collections and lower fuel emission levels to the city.

22 March 2019

Manchester to trial the first fully electric waste truck

The first fully electric 27 tonne waste collection vehicle is being trialled in Manchester, bringing quieter collections and lower fuel emission levels to the city.


Biffa, a leading waste management provider, is working closely in partnership with Manchester City Council over the next six months to trial the environmentally friendly refuse vehicle throughout the city.


The trial is the first step in the effort to end to the emissions released from diesel fuels during waste collections and to improve the city’s air quality.


The electric vehicle is designed to work to the same specification as a conventional dustcart although the engine has been replaced by batteries. This not only sees a reduction in emissions, but also improved levels of noise pollution.


With the government’s commitment to ban diesel engines by 2040, technology such as this is vital to make the switch to alternative fuel sources and Biffa is delighted to be leading the way for waste and recycling industry.


Manchester is one of the largest cities in the UK, making it the ideal test bed for the technology. If the trial is proven a success Biffa will look to work with other Local Authority partners to develop a longer term strategy on future fleet replacements.


During the next six months the vehicle will be deployed in various different applications to fully test such things as the battery capacity, loading and storage capability, recharging time, impact of different weather conditions and many other factors. A complete data set will enable a much more informed view of the benefits and potential challenges that may lay ahead with this technology.


Mark Hodkinson, General Manager at Biffa’s Manchester Municipal site, said, “Electric waste vehicles will not only change how our bins are collected in Manchester, but potentially waste collections across the country, and Biffa are extremely pleased to be working with the council to trial this innovative technology.


“The vehicle doesn’t release any emissions into the atmosphere and is practically silent, meaning a much healthier, cleaner, and quieter city for inhabitants. Hopefully in the future – if the trial is successful - the lack of noise will allow collections to be made later on in the evening, tackling the issue of congestion during morning rush-hour traffic.”


Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at Manchester City Council, said, “We are very pleased to work with Biffa to host this trial, which has the potential to deliver more efficient rounds, while also contributing to our efforts to improve local air quality."


Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport at Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester has a plan to take urgent action on climate change and become a carbon neutral city by 2038. To meet this ambitious goal, we need partners from across all sectors of the city's life to contribute and reduce emissions wherever possible. A willingness to use new technologies such low or zero-emission vehicles will be essential and so we are leading the way by hosting this trial scheme, which has the potential to see diesel vehicles replaced with much cleaner alternatives."  


To learn more about Biffa’s waste management services visit




Notes to Editors:

Biffa is a leading UK-based integrated waste management business. The Group operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain, including the collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste and recyclable materials, as well as related work in the production and sale of energy derived from waste and the sale of recovered commodities such as paper, glass, metals and plastic. Biffa’s customer base for these services includes local authorities (which includes the collection of waste from households), large corporates and SMEs, and purchasers of end-product commodities and energy. Across its operations, the Group managed approximately 3.3mT of waste in Fiscal Year 2017. The Group’s services are organised across four operating divisions: Industrial & Commercial; Municipal; Resource Recovery & Treatment (RR&T); and Energy. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Group’s total revenue was £990.4 million and its Underlying EBITDA was £137.7 million. Biffa was successfully admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities in October 2016 under the ticker "BIFF”.

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