Sheffield gets first incinerator-powered bin lorry

Sheffield Council has introduced the world’s first incinerator-powered bin lorry into its fleet.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 12:53 pm

The electric truck, designed by local firm Magtec, has been converted from an old diesel wagon.

Marcus Jenkins, founder and director of Magtec, said: “Re-powering this one vehicle is the equivalent of taking 30 diesel cars off the road, which has a major impact on the environment in the city.

“It’s fantastic, it’s especially good for us because we’re a Sheffield-based company. We’ve got 90 people working away, designing these products. It’s brilliant. I’m really looking forward to this vehicle coming and picking up my rubbish.”

Tim Fenwick, Magtec Software engineer, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley

Councillor Mark Jones, the council’s cabinet member for climate change, said: “It’s one of those things that’s really cool – it’s everything that Sheffield needs to be. It’s manufacturing, good for the future and the environment, innovative, what we should be doing and what we are able to to – what this city has done forever and fits in very well with the character and DNA of Sheffield.

“Conceivably there is no reason why our entire bin wagon fleet shouldn’t be electric going forward.

“It sends out a really strong message. If we can get a 26 tonne, big wagon full of waste up a hill then we can get a taxi or a bus up a hill – it’s not beyond our remit. It really is quite significant, this does feel like a really important day.”

There are around 80 bin lorries in Sheffield’s fleet. Eventually the council hopes to convert all of them to run on electricity.

The waste storage pit, where the waste is mixed. Picture: Marie Caley

The power packs used in the lorries cost around £100,000 and Coun Jones said it costs about a third of the running costs of diesel.

There are currently only two electric bin lorries in the country, the other being in Westminster. However the council says Sheffield’s is unique as it will be charged up nightly by the incinerator.

Coun Jones added: “By choosing these two areas, they chose two opposite and equally challenging problems. Westminster has a massive amount of collections, somewhere in the region of a million, and we have hills so by choosing those two extremes you show that it can do everything.”

Phil Gilmour, regional director for Veolia which collects rubbish in Sheffield and operates the city’s waste incinerator on Bernard Road, said: “It’s a really big day, a lot of people have been working really hard to get this here and it’s great to see the finished product. It’s going to be excellent for the environment in terms of not using carbon.

Councillor Mark Jones, cabinet member for environment, streetscene and climate change, pictured in the new electric bin Lorry. Picture: Marie Caley

“It’s just the starting point. It really is about getting more people to use electric vehicles in the future, there are lots of distribution companies can use electric vehicles and bus companies are doing it. It’s about us proving that this works in this environment and making sure it works and is reliable but once it does we can look at expanding the fleet.”

Pictured l-r Paul Morton, Magtec test driver, Alastair Black, SCC Waste Strategy Officer, Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change, Marcus Jenkins, Magtec Director, Phil Gilmour, Veolia Regional Director and Chris Grimes, Veolia Regional Head of Fleet. Picture: Marie Caley