Kingston Council is rolling out its new electric refuse collection vehicles (eRCVs) in partnership with Veolia as part of its strategy to provide a cleaner, greener, and quieter service for residents across the borough.

The partnership sees 27 new battery-powered eRCVs replacing current diesel models, meeting the council’s target to provide cleaner and quieter collection services and reduce nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter emissions in the borough.

With dedicated collection vehicles for each waste stream, the the council said the new fleet will also help to expand the food waste service, bolstering recycling rates and driving ecological transformation across Kingston.

Starting in September, the council will gradually replace its recycling and refuse collection vehicles with a new all-electric fleet.

These new trucks will be dedicated to single material collections as opposed to their current diesel counterparts that are split to allow for simultaneous food waste and mixed recycling collections.

This can lead to contamination so the new vehicles will help improve the quality of recycling and therefore Kingston’s recycling rate. This also reduces the number of trips each vehicle has to take to the tip, saving energy.

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The council said these developments demonstrate its commitment to being net-zero by 2030. Scott Edgell, General Manager for Veolia South London added: “We’re excited to see our partnership with Kingston Council result in a better service for residents, along with reduced air and noise pollution thanks to the introduction of our new electric fleet of recycling and waste collection vehicles.

“By constantly innovating our resources and services we can drive ecological transformation across the borough and support our partner on their net zero carbon journey.”

Councillor Noel Hadjimichael, Kingston Council’s portfolio holder for assets, commissioning and waste said: “This is a huge milestone for climate action in Kingston.

“We are committed to finding sustainable solutions to tackle climate change and introducing a fully electric waste collection fleet demonstrates that. We are proud to be one of the first authorities nationally to make such a move.

“By introducing an electric waste fleet, we’ll help improve the borough’s air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, bringing us closer to achieving net zero by 2030. ”