Tower Hamlets introduces its first electric bin lorry


Waste and recycling collections in Tower Hamlets have just become greener with the introduction of our first fully electric bin lorry. This is part of our commitment to becoming a net zero emission council and borough, and ensure cleaner air for all our residents, businesses, and visitors. This new vehicle is expected to cut emissions by approximately 70% compared with diesel vehicles. 

As part of this commitment to the climate emergency, we are providing a £4million investment to replace some of our existing fleet of diesel and petrol cars, vans, and scooters over the next three years. There is an additional investment of £900,000 to provide charging infrastructure across the borough for council vehicles which will deliver fast-charging and increase efficiency. 

The bin lorry was originally a diesel vehicle the council purchased in 2020, and it has been converted to an electric waste collection vehicle by our manufacturer, prolonging its life for a further, compared to the original diesel truck, three years at the minimum. We have also funded the conversion of an additional electric bin lorry, which will be delivered later this year. 

As well as an important environmental impact cutting emissions, the electric vehicle is approximately twice as cheap to run compared to the diesel vehicle – meaning it is more efficient and cost-effective. The vehicle is charged overnight and can run on full charge for two days.  

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Luftur Rahman, said: 

“As a council, we are prioritising securing our future for the borough – this means we are investing crucial funding into important issues, such as reducing our carbon emissions to respond to the climate emergency.  

“We will continue to look for any opportunities for improvements that ensure we are able to deliver a waste and recycling service that is aligned with both quality service and carbon reduction goals.” 

Councillor Kabir Hussain, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Climate Emergency, said:  

“The introduction of this new electric bin lorry is the first step to a greener fleet that delivers for residents in keeping the borough clean, while protecting the quality of our air and natural environment. 

“We look forward to welcoming another electric vehicle this year, along with investments for other vehicles in the fleet and the electric charging infrastructure necessary to sustain these changes.”  

Posted on Thursday 30th March 2023