Warwickshire County Council is to spend more than £400,000 on three new diesel lorries for its household waste department.
A report outlining the benefits of the plan - with the money coming from the council’s capital investment fund - explained that electric vehicles had been considered but that they lacked the power needed to do the job.
The three specialist HGVs will cost £412,500 and will be used to remove full containers from the council’s various household waste recycling centres and take them to reprocessing or treatment sites.
Three vehicles are already owned by the council with others being supplied by contractor Biffa. It is expected that by doubling their own fleet there will be an annual saving.
The report explained: “The new haulage service will cost significantly more money if it continues to be outsourced and the waste management revenue budget has not been increased to pay for this specific need.
"It is estimated that if we continued to outsource the contract, it would cost at least an approximate additional £100,000 per annum.
“Given that the purchased assets are assumed to have a replacement life cycle of approximately ten years, the payback/breakeven point is between years four and five.”
The report also highlighted the environmental impact of the new lorries.
It explained: “It is not anticipated that the council will be able to procure electric-powered vehicles for this service.
"During soft market engagement with manufacturers, it was clear that the requirements of this type of vehicle cannot currently be met using alternative fuels due to the power requirements of hook lift equipment and heavy load haulage distances - on and off-road.
“When the new vehicles are due for replacement the council can expect viable non-diesel alternatives to be available.
"Fuel saving options will also be explored including driver training and vehicle monitoring technology.”
The report added that the recycling centres will be used as vehicle depots meaning the lorries will not need to travel to their first pick up point so will save fuel, reduce congestion and improve air quality.
It went on: “CO2 savings are difficult to calculate but assuming a reduction in mileage and also new more efficient Euro level 6 vehicles means a carbon reduction in the order of 50 to 100 tonnes per annum.”