New cutting-edge technology has been trialled in County Durham, as part of efforts both to keep the streets clean and fight against climate change.

An electric bin lift and electric road sweeper have been piloted by Durham County Council’s Clean and Green Team.

The trialling of the environmentally friendly equipment is part of the council’s push to reduce carbon emissions by at least 60% by 2030 and for County Durham to be carbon neutral by 2050. The council declared a climate emergency in February 2019.

The electric bin lift, which fits onto the back of the council’s existing refuse lorries, needs much less power from the lorries’ engines to operate.

This has the eco-friendly effect of cutting fuel usage and, therefore, CO2 emissions. The new lift also makes a lot less noise, thereby reducing noise pollution too.

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens, said, “Our plans to become carbon neutral require us to identify opportunities for innovation and trialling new vehicles and equipment is a vital part of this.”

“Over the next few years, we’ll be improving our fleet of vehicles with greener, more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as this electric road sweeper and bin lift.”

With regards to the electric road sweeper, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, Cllr Carl Marshall, said, “The electric sweeper has zero emissions and operates with no engine, which reduces noise pollution.”

“As it runs off electricity, its overall carbon footprint is approximately a third of conventional machines.”

(The featured image shows (left to right) Paul Rochester, area sales manager for Terberg Matec UK; Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of environment; Paul Wheldon, refuse wagon operative; Andy Stott, refuse wagon driver; Steven Murray, refuse wagon operative; and Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, with the electric wheelie bin lift.)

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