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Liverpool Council introduces 20 gas-powered Mercedes refuse trucks

Mercedes Econic NGT

Liverpool City Council has commissioned a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz refuse collection trucks that run on biogas.

The Econic NGT 2630 L models are expected to make a significant contribution towards the reduction of the Council’s carbon footprint.

Between them, the 20 new vehicles will cover more than 150,000 miles per year, mostly in Liverpool city centre.

The council calculates they will produce 80% less carbon and 90% less nitrogen oxide compared to diesel-powered refuse trucks, while also cutting fuel costs by 35%.

The new trucks are powered by in-line six-cylinder engines, which are designed to burn compressed natural gas (CNG). These 7.7-litre powerplants generate 302PS and drive through six-speed Allison automatic transmissions.

Operator Liverpool Streetscene Services (LSSL), a Local Authority Trading Company, was established in 2016 when the city council brought cleansing and refuse operations back under its control.

LSSL’s head of service for Refuse and Recycling Harvey Mitchell said: “These gas-powered trucks are much cleaner, and also quieter, than traditional refuse collection vehicles, so we’re confident they’ll make a real difference to the local environment.

“At the same time, they benefit from the very high levels of reliability, safety and user-friendly design that our older diesel-engined Econics have been delivering for years.”

"The vehicles were selected through a competitive tender but once we’d made the choice, the team at Roanza Truck & Van worked very closely with us throughout the ordering and delivery process.”

The 6x2 trucks are fitted with Faun Zoeller Variopress compactor bodies, and offer 10.0-tonne payload capacities. Their rear steering axles enhance manoeuvrability, making it easier for drivers to get in and out of tight city-centre locations.

The Econic’s low-height cab has a single-step floor for ease of entry and exit. Its deep, panoramic windscreen, and a seating position, which is much lower than in a conventional truck, give drivers improved visibility of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Our investment in this new fleet of refuse vehicles is a great statement of intent in our goal to make Liverpool a cleaner and greener city. These safe and efficient vehicles give collection teams the right tools to ensure residents receive a reliable service.”

The launch of the eco-friendly refuse fleet follows the recent announcement that Liverpool City Council is set to meet its climate change targets – three years ahead of schedule.

According to government statistics, the city has already achieved an 18% reduction in carbon emissions since 2012 and is on course to hit 35% by the end of 2020.

The council is also greening the city. Having recently won funding to plant 750 new urban trees over the next two years, it is currently planting the first wave of 150 in the city centre with a sustainable drainage system to reduce surface flooding.

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