Biffa to invest £11 million in Manchester waste fleet

Biffa to invest £11 million in Manchester waste fleetBiffa is to spend £11 million on a 100-strong fleet of new vehicles to help provide household collections and street cleansing services in Manchester.

The waste management and recycling company began an eight-year contract with Manchester City Council last year, and hopes that the new fleet will ‘help improve operational efficiency and productivity, reduce transport costs and be kinder to the environment’.

Biffa has already taken delivery of 64 vehicles including nine 26-tonne refuse collection vehicles (RCVs), which will be used as test-beds for determining the remaining RCVs for the new fleet. The vehicles have been adapted to carry a 140-litre container for food waste to be decanted into, and then tipped into the vehicle when required.

The vehicles will be prepared by Biffa engineers for a six-month trial to determine the best configuration that will optimise their performance. The preferred configurations will then be specified for the 30-plus RCVs making up the rest of the order.

Biffa say that three different RCV bodies, supplied by Dennis Eagle, Faun and Heil Farid, and two bin lift systems (supplied by Terberg and Zoeller) will be evaluated to identify operational performance and costs, and supplier-related factors. Wear rates, warranty failures and response times will all be monitored and recorded, along with vehicle uptime and availability. Biffa also says that it will have engineers analyse fuel economy, the number of bin lifts made, and vehicle payload for all waste streams.

Biffa claims that each RCV has a working life of around 10 years, during which time it will cover over 75,000 miles. Biffa says the vehicles will collect around 120 tonnes of residual waste, 60 to 70 tonnes of recyclables or 100 plus tonnes of green waste each week from over 500,000 Manchester residents.

Mark Hodkinson, Biffa’s general manager for the Manchester contract said: “We’re all working hard to get the fleet prepared for deployment on Manchester’s streets. While performing their normal duties, the larger RCVs will be providing valuable information about how they can best be used to deliver efficient and economical collection services.”

Cy-clear safe cyclist system

A further trial involves a RCV fitted with a 360­-degree video camera and the Cy-clear safe cyclist system. The trial will assess how effectively technology can help improve safety around the vehicle for both crew and other road users.

Hodkinson added: “We’re also keen to get feedback on the safe cyclist system which we hope will be an important aid that gives our drivers greater visibility of all road users, particularly cyclists, at all times.”

More information can be found at Biffa’s website.