Cleaner vehicles sweep in

CLEANER, greener vehicles are sweeping into service across Northumberland as part of a council efficiency drive.

Northumberland County Council is overseeing a phased renewal of 48 refuse collection wagons, as well as introducing eight new road sweepers in an ‘invest to save’ programme.

The new bin lorries come into service after a review of collection routes throughout the county to improve reliability and efficiency of the waste service, and to make it more environmentally-friendly.

The changes are expected to reduce the council’s vehicle mileage by up to 1,380 miles a week, cut fuel consumption by 1,400 litres a week and reduce CO2 emissions by 198 tonnes each year.

Collection routes and times were changed in south east Northumberland in May and will come into effect in the north and west of the county on Monday, September 12.

Leaflets have been delivered to every household to inform residents of the new arrangements.

Council Executive Member for Waste Management Alan Thompson said: “We have already seen benefits from the new routes which were introduced in the south east of the county in May and are grateful to residents there for their co-operation.

“We are now introducing these changes to the rest of the county and while we appreciate that it will mean a change in the day of collection for many and that we are asking all residents to put their bins out by 7am, their support will mean that we can provide a more effective and efficient service into the future.”

Garden waste collections will be unaffected by the changes.

The new road sweepers are made up of four compact and four heavy duty machines.

They replace old, worn-out vehicles and can collect much higher volumes of litter, leaves, car debris, dirt and weeds.

They are also more fuel efficient and quieter so are suitable for work at all times of the day and in enclosed environments.

Each machine will operate for around 40 hours a week, serving the whole county.

Coun Thompson said: “These new vehicles are a great addition as part of our ethos of invest to save.

“They will help our teams to complete work more quickly and are more efficient and can remove more debris and mess from our roads than ever before.

“Investing in the new sweepers is another component of the council’s programme of improvement and of its commitment to maintaining high environmental standards across Northumberland.”