Sheffield is to trial innovative electric bin lorries powered by the very waste they have collected.

The project will allow two 26 tonne bin lorries to be converted from diesel to electric in a £2.6m scheme to accelerate the transition to zero emission heavy goods vehicles after funding for 14 projects was announced by Government this week.

A successful bid was submitted to the Innovation Funding Service (Innovate UK) for £2.6m, with £220,000 allocated to Sheffield City Council to enable two repowered bin lorries to be trailed in Sheffield over two years. It is hoped that the vehicles will be converted and collecting waste by the end of the year.

The project is made up of six partners including Veolia who will be responsible for operating the vehicles in Sheffield as part of their waste contract with Sheffield City Council.

The trial has been made possible by using a system that has been designed, manufactured and fitted in Sheffield by MagTec. MagTec partnered the council and specialise in converting, known as re-powering, medium goods vehicles and buses from diesel to full electric.

The lorries will be powerful enough to negotiate 25 percent gradients on hills even when fully loaded.

Converting bin lorries which are worn out is more cost effective than buying a new diesel lorry. The vehicles will also be powered using the electricity produced through the household waste burnt at Sheffield’s Energy Recovery Facility, a world first.

Councillor Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for environment and street scene, said: “We’re committed to making Sheffield cleaner and greener for the benefit of people who live, work and study here and for the environment. Electric bin lorries will certainly contribute to our ambition, through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality. This trial is a boost to local manufacturing, and Magtec’s work is exactly the sort of green technology we want to see produced in Sheffield for the benefit of our future environment and our future economy.”

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development, said: “Polluted air is a public health crisis across the country and the Council is determined to tackle it. Using innovative technology to improve our environment is a key part of our clean air strategy. It is great to be selected alongside Westminster to develop this pioneering technology and reduce the reliance on environment-choking diesel vehicles.

“Sheffield is promoting innovative clean air technology through the excellent work being undertaken by many local companies. So I’m especially pleased we’re able to work with Magtec in driving forward this excellent technology.”

Sheffield’s non-recyclable household waste (black bin waste) is sent to the cities Energy Recovery Facility, where it’s burnt to produce enough electricity for over 22,600 homes. It also supplies heat and hot water to over 150 buildings including the Town Hall, Crucible Theatre and Weston Park Museum. Sheffield’s approach means that it sends less than 1% of its household waste to landfill, one of the lowest figures in the UK.

More information about waste and recycling in Sheffield is available at