The vehicle is collecting domestic waste and recycling in both urban and rural areas covered by GCSWS for South Cambridgeshire Council and Cambridge City Council.
It marks the start of a drive by the two local authorities to replace all their refuse collection vehicles with a carbon-free fleet in a bid to improve air quality and help tackle climate change. Until now, GCSWS had 55 RCVs which used around 50,000 litres of diesel a month.
Head of the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service and President of CIWM Trevor Nicoll, said: “We’re thrilled to be one of the very first places in the UK where this vehicle will be carrying out zero emissions recycling collections.
“The recycling and waste industry is at the forefront of helping to drive change that cuts carbon emissions and being one of the initial recipients of the eCollect shows how seriously we take that responsibility.
“Our crews have very quickly got used to the vehicle and it has already spent time collecting recycling from both rural villages and more urban areas. Our plan is to replace our entire diesel fleet with carbon-free vehicles so for us, this is just the start.”
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, Councillor Brian Milnes, said: “One of our top four Business Plan priorities is to be green to our core and the eCollect aligns perfectly with these ambitions.
“Having this year adopted South Cambridgeshire’s very first Zero Carbon Strategy as we aim for net zero carbon by 2050, it is important we put our own house in order first. Emissions from our diesel waste fleet make up more than half of our carbon footprint, so this is a very tangible way we can make a dent in local air quality.
“We know South Cambridgeshire residents care deeply about the environment and I’ve no doubt they’ll be delighted to see the new clean, quiet and efficient eCollect vehicle down their street soon.”
Cambridge City Council’s Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, Councillor Rosy Moore, said: “As well as reducing emissions, this new vehicle will contribute to cleaner air which is another important factor given our focus on air quality in and around the city.
“Cambridge is a beautiful city and we are determined to do everything in our power to protect and enhance its environment. Real, tangible steps like moving our fleet across to carbon-free collection vehicles show how serious we are about our green ambitions.
“We’re proud to be among the very front-runners nationally in taking delivery of the eCollect and I’m looking forward to seeing it out and about in Cambridge, helping residents to recycle.”