City of London to introduce all-electric waste collection fleet

The City of London aims to be the first UK local authority to run a fully electric fleet of refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) after it awarded a new tech-driven waste collection contract to Veolia.

The contract, which began on 6 April and was awarded after a competitive tender process, will see the introduction of a number of tech-based solutions to enhance waste and recycling services in the City of London – also known as the Square Mile – and improve the management of its 63 kilometres of public roads and 15 kilometres of public footpaths.

The electric RCVs, which will be introduced by Veolia during the first year of the contract, will use on-board weighing equipment to digitally record bin weights at different residential properties, enabling recycling performance to be efficiently calculated. All vehicles will be digitally tracked in order to monitor and auto-allocate cleansing tasks depending on geographical location and capacity.

City of London to introduce all-electric waste collection fleetWaste management companies have been stepping up efforts to reduce the environmental impact of waste collection vehicles, with Veolia unveiling the first zero-emission street cleansing vehicles in London last year and FCC Environment touring its all-electric RCV around the UK last summer to promote the benefits of going electric.

The City of London contract will also see street cleaners carry hand-held devices for on-the-go reporting, as well as delivering 74 solar auto-compacting bigBelly bins, which send notifications to collection crews when they are full and need to be emptied.

Overall, Veolia’s new portfolio will see the company take responsibility for the following areas in the City of London: domestic waste collection, commercial waste, recycling collections, street cleansing, winter maintenance, special event preparation and clean-up operations, vehicle maintenance and gully servicing.

Read more: Electric Wheels: A future without petrol for waste collection fleets?

Commenting on the new contract, Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City Corporation’s Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: “This pioneering technology-driven contract aims to exceed the high standards people expect of our waste and cleansing services whether they work, visit or live in the City.

“The Square Mile is a world-leading international financial centre with over half a million daily workers, 7,500 residents and 18.4 million visitors a year. They rightly expect the best and I’m delighted that Veolia has been appointed to deliver this contract.”

Gavin Graveson, Executive Vice-President of Veolia UK & Ireland, added: “We are excited to bring industry leading knowledge to the City of London, and to deliver innovative and sustainable technologies to this unique part of the capital. The new tech-driven service will bring significant benefits to the community and the environment.

“The new fleet of electric vehicles will play a significant role in improving local air quality, with real-time data technologies delivering greater synergies between collections and street cleansing operations.

“We look forward to working with the City Corporation to provide an efficient and reliable service, that enhances the lives of those living and working in the area, while providing a design for a more sustainable future.”