Homes in the Forest of Dean will have their refuse and garden waste collected by new vehicles from this week (30 July).
The new fleet forms part of the contractual agreement between the Forest of Dean District Council and its current waste services provider, Biffa.
The trucks will also carry fresh livery, with the refuse vehicles displaying a number of key messages to remind residents of the value of those everyday items that can be easily recycled at the kerbside and not to let them ‘go to waste.’
Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘The vehicles are being procured under the terms of the contract with Biffa which delivers the recycling and refuse collections on behalf of the district council. Given the high mileage these sorts of vehicles cover it is normal in waste contracts for the fleet be renewed after a period of around 6 years.’
‘While the current vehicles are maintained regularly and Biffa has its own workshop at the Cinderford depot to deal with most general repairs, after so many miles on the clock along with the wear and tear on both the vehicles and the on board lifting equipment, it is inevitable that vehicles will become less reliable and need to be replaced in time. To provide an uninterrupted service to our residents and to prevent issues such as leachate, garden and refuse vehicles must be fit for purpose and we are delighted that the new fleet will be out collecting from next week once crews have been thoroughly trained.’
He continued: ‘We are using the new livery on the refuse trucks to remind residents about just a few of the benefits that recycling brings to make everyone think twice before throwing their rubbish out. For instance, recycling just a single metal drinks can could save enough energy to power a television for four hours - however, once consigned to the refuse bin all that potential may be lost for good. Therefore every item that could be recycled really does matter and has a real value - whether this is through the cost savings of not sending it to landfill, the reduced environmental impact or the amount of energy saved. While the council has a statutory duty to collect household rubbish, our key aim remains to reduce, reuse and recycle first and we hope these messages will help convince more residents to make full use of their weekly kerbside recycling service.’
The average refuse vehicle operating in the Forest of Dean will make close to a million collections during its 6-year lifespan and cover 20,000 miles each year. Not surprisingly, working by busy roads does not come without risk.
James Walker, Business Manager at Biffa’s Cinderford depot said: ‘The new vehicles are all fitted with 360˚ cameras which will make the crews’ working environment safer and easier to monitor as we can observe the rounds in real time. The waste industry is one of the most dangerous to work in, with 39 fatalities during the past 5 years and the new cameras are just one way Biffa, as a nationally operating company, can invest in a safer working environment for our employees.’
‘Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for crews to experience impatient motorists mounting the pavements to get around the collection vehicles. Doing so causes unnecessary risk to both the crews and passing pedestrians and the cameras will be a great asset in helping us address this issue. The recycling fleet, which was renewed in 2016, already has the 360˚ cameras fitted and any incident of reckless driving is reported to the Police so they can follow up with the car driver. We hope the cameras will make motorists think again before they attempt to pass the collection vehicles and if they need to, that they do so in a careful and legal manner,’ he added.