Upcycled bin lorries to be tested in London and Sheffield

Bin lorry driver Image copyright Sheffield City Council
Image caption The upcycled bin lorries are due to be trialled over two years as part of a government-backed scheme

Upcycled bin lorries, which would have otherwise been scrapped, will be trialled by two local authorities in a bid to cut emissions.

Westminster and Sheffield councils are operating the vehicles, which used to run on diesel but have been fitted with electric motors.

The batteries of the Sheffield lorries are charged with electricity generated from burning the waste they collect.

The lorries are part of a government-funded scheme worth £1.7m.

Both authorities will start operating two lorries - rather than buying new diesel lorries - each later this month over two years.

Money for the project comes from Innovate UK, a public body funded by the Government.

Diesel lorries become more expensive to maintain than to replace after about seven years when they are usually sent abroad or stripped for parts, Sheffield City Council said.

But their new motors and batteries increase their working life by another seven years.

Image copyright Sheffield City Council
Image caption Diesel bin lorries are usually scrapped after seven years

Tim Mitchell, Westminster City Council's deputy leader, said he was "proud" of the scheme.

Sheffield City Council's cabinet member for environment and climate change Mark Jones said: "Using local expertise, we are piloting a new repowered 26-tonne bin lorry which is powered by the electricity produced by the waste it collects.

"We believe we are the first local authority ever to do this, putting Sheffield at the forefront of the green energy revolution."

The waste these lorries collect is taken to an energy recovery facility where it is burnt in incinerators which in turn generate electric power.

This electricity is then used to charge the lorries.

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