Sheffield City Council has applied for funding to convert two of its retired refuse collection vehicles, to run on electricity. The vehicles, operated by Veolia, would be powered by the waste taken away from households in Sheffield.

If successful, the project could reduce the dependence on diesel by converting existing vehicles at the end of their operation life. This plan could also save money as it would allow the waste contractors to continue to use vehicles that would normally be replaced with new ones. Under this scheme they could operate for at least another seven years.

The bid involves a number of partners, including award-winning Sheffield based firm, Magtec Systems Technology. The company is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and has exported over 500 around the world, all of which have been converted here in South Yorkshire. This includes 350 electric trucks to America, a fleet of electric vans to Europe and two electric buses to the Himalayas.

Councillor Bryan Lodge and Councillor Jack Scott recently toured Magtec facilities and met with the company’s founder, Marcus Jenkins.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene, and responsible for waste collections said: “I was really pleased to have the chance to visit Magtec and be able to speak to Marcus and his team about the work they are doing.

“To be able to trial electric refuse vehicles in Sheffield is a fantastic opportunity, allowing it to be one of the first cities where the vehicles are powered by our waste, using a system that has been designed and manufactured here.”

Councillor Jack Scott, the Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability commented: “We have been very clear that we need to take action in response to the challenges the city faces with air pollution. This scheme is exactly the sort of ground-breaking, innovative opportunity we need to seize to make sure Sheffield’s air is clean and safe for everyone.

“Magtec is such a great Sheffield company, with a proven track record around the world. As well as waste, there is clearly an opportunity for the bus companies in Sheffield to embrace this technology and move away from their dependence on diesel and I’ll be pushing them to do this.”

Veolia has more than 40 collection vehicles.