Exeter cleans up with seven new Dennis Eagle refuse collection vehicles

Exeter City Council has bought seven new Dennis Eagle refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) with Terberg lifts – five of which have Terberg’s bin-weighing system fitted.

The vehicles are all Elite 6×2 narrow rear steer with Olympus 16 bodies and Terberg’s OmniDEL Electric bin lifts and were provided by Specialist Fleet Services (SFS) as part of a new seven-year fleet contract hire agreement.

Bu the vehicles with bin-weighing technology have a dual purpose: to give Exeter a better understanding of its existing commercial waste collections so that it can improve efficiency and future proof the fleet with changes to waste collection and recycling on the horizon.

Exeter City Council’s cleansing and fleet services manager, Simon Hill, explained: “We have a successful commercial waste operation, but it would really help us to know the costs of collection and disposal.

“We charge a basic rate per bin at the moment, but the bin weighing system will give us a clearer idea of the costs. We’re not considering charging by weight but we would initially like to identify customers with bins which are consistently too heavy so we can look for other solutions.

“Another development bin weighing will help us undertake is the tracking of manual handling issues. If we know where and when bins are likely to be heavier, we can manage our resources more efficiently. For instance, garden waste is obviously a very seasonal collection and at times can be very heavy.

“And a third initiative – another positive for our commercial customers – is being able to tell them what happens to their waste. And that is something increasing numbers of them want to know. For instance, we’ve just won a new contract with Exeter University and they are keen to know how much waste we’re collecting from them in different streams.

“This will help them understand how good they are at recycling and where they can improve. A lot of organisations take this very seriously. It’s gone from being a feather in the cap to being an ethical responsibility that’s expected of them.

“Bin weighing will help us inform such customers and also understand our own strengths and weaknesses. Two of these vehicles will be assigned to trade waste collections but the other three with bin-weighing technology will be available for use elsewhere and could help us look at how  different parts of the city are participating in all aspects of recycling.”

Hill added that the vehicles have all been specified to be as narrow as possible, given the tight streets in Exeter where they will need to do a lot of reversing.

In addition, the lifts are all electric to cut emissions and reduce noise levels. “Things we’re keen to address,” Hill said. “And by having all the trucks as standard – a ‘one-truck-fits-all’ approach – it makes them easier to manage and maintain. It works for us.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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