MJ Church Electra

Wiltshire-based waste management, plant hire and civil engineering company MJ Church has partnered with Electra Commercial Vehicles to create a zero emission all-electric commercial waste collection truck, which it has launched this week.

MJ Church engineers worked with the Blackburn manufacturer to create the bespoke truck, which cost £500,000 to design and build.

The company claims the specification of the vehicle means that it is engineered “to far outperform any other comparable vehicle in existence”.

MJ Church specified a 10-hour operating shift range and a unique electrically-powered hydraulic lifter, packer and compactor, which can lift large commercial bins, empty them into the hopper, compact the refuse and then eject it using a fully electric hydraulic system. The company calculates that each truck will save six tonnes of CO2 a year.

The truck, which complies with the Bath and Bristol CAZ requirements, will serve a range of commercial and retail businesses, as well as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, schools and retirement homes.

MJ Church is also working with Electra on the next generation of all-electric waste collection truck vehicles and looking at reverse engineering some of its existing diesel vehicles to convert them to electric power.

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Tom Church, director of MJ Church, said: “We are delighted to be launching this revolutionary vehicle today, which will make a significant contribution to cleaner air for local people whilst guaranteeing an excellent level of service at lower costs for businesses in Clean Air Zones as they get rolled out across the region.

“Emissions levels in urban centres are a serious issue – it goes way beyond business. Nothing is more important than people's health. We have been watching this issue develop over the last few years and as awareness has increased, so the pressure for meaningful change has increased with it. It has been apparent to us for some time that establishing low emissions zones in cities is simply the right thing to do and has therefore become inevitable."

He added: “We provide waste collection services to businesses and organisations in cities and towns throughout the region. We took the view that it would not only be irresponsible of us to continue to add to the problem by ignoring it, but it would also be a failure as a business not to be able to lead the way in investing in the technology that solves the problem and enables our customers to have their waste collected with a minimum of disruption and without incurring the financial penalties associated with low emissions zones.

“Most businesses do have a sense of social responsibility and see themselves as vital parts of their communities. They want to operate sustainably and create as little negative impact on their environments as possible.

“By making this investment we do have significant initial costs to bear, but we do know that we are absolutely doing the right thing as a business ourselves and on behalf of all our customers and we know that this will bear dividends in many different ways in the medium and long term,” he concluded.

The company is planning to launch a competition with local schoolchildren to find a winning name for the new truck.