Ireland’s first electric refuse collection vehicle
Waste management company, Panda, which is part of the Beauparc utilities group, has announced two significant firsts in the drive to make Ireland a fully circular economy. The arrival of Ireland’s first ever fully electric, zero emission waste collection vehicle (eRCV) is the first of its kind for a municipal waste and recycling operator in Ireland. Newly installed solar panels powering the nation’s largest household recycling facility in Ballymount, Dublin, will also charge the electric vehicle, making the entire process of collecting and recycling waste completely carbon-free. The vehicle is also significantly quieter while operating in residential areas.
Panda are aiming to have the urban fleet fully electric by 2024. The replacement of 30 vehicles currently in operation within Dublin City would result in a net reduction of 810 tonnes of CO2 per annum. Last year, Panda announced an investment into 45 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled refuse trucks to be rolled out in rural areas.
In addition, Panda have signed an agreement to construct Ireland’s first dedicated bottle to bottle plastic recycling facility in Portlaoise. The €20M investment will create up to 100 new jobs. The new facility is projected to be operational by the end of 2021 and will process up to one billion plastic water and soft drinks bottles per year. 20,000 tonnes of plastic bottles used in Ireland are currently exported to the UK and Europe for processing. The plant in Portlaoise will have the capacity to serve the entire Irish market, eliminating the need to export.
Beauparc currently employs 2,300 people, processes 2 million tonnes of material across Ireland, the UK and Europe and supplies over 75,000 homes and businesses with renewable electricity.