Residents across South Tyneside will soon benefit from more efficient refuse collection services thanks to investment in the council’s fleet of bin lorries.
The council is replacing 16 of its bin lorries in a rolling programme worth around £3.8m.
The upgrade will be phased in over the next three years and involves the renewal of vehicles that are currently operating well beyond their normal working life.
The council has taken delivery of the first eight new bin lorries, which are currently undergoing testing and evaluation.
Residents can expect to see the new vehicles hit the roads over the coming weeks.
Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Many of the vehicles in our existing fleet are reaching the end of their life and have been due to be replaced.
“The replacement programme will help us provide a more resilient service by reducing the risk of vehicle break down which causes disruption and delays to bin collection rounds.
"This downtime can be a real issue. Repairs are also costly due to some of the vehicle specifications, as is replacement vehicle hire.
“Our fleet provides vital front line services therefore it is important it remains fully operational. Introducing greener, more efficient new vehicles will not only help to save money for the council in annual vehicle maintenance costs, but provide our workforce with the tools and equipment they need to ensure reliable and efficient services for residents.”
The new vehicles have been supplied by Farid Hillend Engineering Ltd, based in Dunfermline, procured through competitive tender.
They are built to the latest technological and emission standards, making them more efficient in terms of fuel efficiency and their impact on the local environment.
They also feature more modern electric bin lifting mechanisms, which make them noticeably quieter for residents.
Kevin Forbes, Farid Hillend Engineering’s regional sales manager said: “We are pleased to have assisted South Tyneside Council in identifying and supplying refuse and recycling collection vehicles which meet the council’s needs and goals of improving vehicle specification whilst maximising productivity and reduced environmental impact.
“The first batch of vehicles, eight in total, consist of five TwinTrak 21s split bodies of 30/70 and three PowerLink 19s all mounted on Mercedes Econic rear steer chassis with Terberg Electric Bin lifters.
"Two further batches of refuse and recycling collection vehicles will be rolled out later this year and into next year.
"We look forward to continuing the close working relationship with the council and wish them every success with their fleet, waste and recycling aims and objectives.”
South Tyneside Council is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and renewal of around 350 vehicles.
The fleet is essential in helping the council and its partner at South Tyneside Homes to deliver a diverse range of front line services, including waste collections, highways maintenance, neighbourhood and handyman services.