Waste firm to run lighter plastic trucks

A waste firm is to introduce plastic vehicles to its fleet which are lighter than traditional trucks and could save up to 11 tonnes of carbon a year each.

Kent-based Verdant which provides recycling, refuse, cleansing and maintenance services for 24 local authorities, has ordered eight plastic trucks.

Produced by Linktip, the ‘polybuilt’ bodies offer an increase in payload of over 400kgs, and some 20 such bodies have now been supplied to the recycling and waste management industry.

Linktip calculates that a plastic-bodied vehicle of under 7.5 tonnes potentially carries twice as much load which could mean saving over 11 tonnes of carbon per vehicle every year. Fuel savings could run to around £2,500 per vehicle per year.

Two of the plastic trucks are already in use on its street cleansing service for Melton Borough Council, while a further six have been ordered for Verdant’s new contract for Vale of White Horse District Council which starts in October.

The 3.5 tonnes vehicles, based on either Mitsubishi Canter or Mercedes Sprinter chassis, have a tipping rear body made of polypropylene plastic, rather than the traditional metal or glass-reinforced plastic.

Verdant’s group fleet engineer, Ian Coxhill, said the company uses many scores of vehicles across its local authority contracts and regularly enhances its fleet with new or upgraded vehicles that offer more efficiency, value and carbon reduction.

He said: “We reviewed Linktip’s plastic bodies and were quickly convinced of the significant benefit that they can deliver in terms of productivity gains, cost savings and environmental impact.”

Verdant is one of 37 companies that are part of the Freight Transport Association’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, an industry-led voluntary scheme to record, report and reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from the UK freight sectors. The private and public sector members operate nearly 38,000 vehicles.

Luke Walsh

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