To consider replacement of the Council’s fleet of domestic refuse collection vehicles.
Councillor A.C.J. Horwood, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, explained that the proposals set out in the report, of the Strategic Head of Operations, addressed the need to replace the Council’s existing fleet of 17 Refuse Collection Vehicles. The following points were noted by the Executive:
- The existing fleet had been procured in 2011/12 as part of the planned introduction of an enhanced kerbside recycling service.
- Vehicles were entering their seventh year of continuous service.
- An options appraisal had been undertaken and it was noted that this had considered the use of alternative fuels and had compared the lease hire of vehicles with outright purchase. It was also highlighted that opportunities in relation to potential refurbishment of some vehicles, to extend service life, had been explored.
In response to questions, Councillor Horwood highlighted that the proposals set out in the report supported the outright purchase of diesel vehicles, complying with Euro VI emission standards, over a three year period, along with the refurbishment of selected vehicles from the existing fleet. The Executive Member went on to explain that this approach provided flexibility and would allow the Council to react to any changes in waste legislation and any changes to financial transfers that would be agreed between Surrey County Council and Reigate and Banstead post 2020/21. The Executive was informed that should the proposals be approved:
- Three new replacement vehicles would be procured in 2019/20 at an estimated cost of £600,000. It was noted that an additional sum of £120,000 would be made available for the refurbishment of up to three vehicles from the existing fleet.
- Up to seven vehicles would be purchased in 2020/21 with an estimated total cost of £1.5 million. It was noted that an additional sum of £120,000 would be made available for refurbishment.
- The arrangements for 2020/21 would be repeated in 2021/22.
- At the end of the process an entirely new fleet of household Refuse Collection Vehicles would be in operation.
Councillor Horwood explained, by phasing the procurement of new vehicles over three years, the financial burden of future replacement would be mitigated by extending the period over which any future fleet was acquired.
During the discussion a number of issues were considered in relation to alternative fuels, including the distinction between air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to questions, the Leader of the Council explained that currently alternative fuels were not viable (at the time of making the decision) however rapid technological advances meant these would be kept under close review. It was also emphasised that the proposed approached provided flexibility and allowed for improvements to be made, within an agreed budget, to the Council’s fleet in the future. This included further consideration of alternative fuels, once these became viable, and other considerations to ensure the recycling service remained cost effective, robust and fully legally compliant.
In conclusion, the Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services explained the regular collection of household recycling and residual waste was one of the Council’s highest profile services. It was highlighted that residents expected their waste to be collected in a timely and efficient manner and that this required a fleet of well maintained, reliable vehicles that were fit for purpose each and every week.
RECOMMENDED that, in order to fulfil resolution (ii) below, financial provision be made as follows:
· Include within the Council’s capital programme planning the sum total of £600,000 in financial year 2019/20 to fund the initial purchase of three new vehicles;
· Include within the Council’s capital programme planning the sum total of £120,000 in financial years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 to fund a refurbishment programme of vehicles from the current fleet; and
· Include within the Council’s capital programme planning the sum total of £1.5 million in financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22 (£3 million total across these two financial years) to fund the purchase of up to fourteen new vehicles.
(i) The Council’s current fleet of domestic refuse collection vehicles be recognised as approaching the end of its economical service life.
(ii) The Council purchase new vehicles over a period of three financial years, concluding in 2021/22, supported by the refurbishment of vehicles from the current fleet (Option 2).
(iii) The Strategic Head of Neighbourhood Operations be authorised, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, to make revisions to the replacement options and approach within the agreed budget as required.
Reason for decision: To continue to deliver a cost effective, robust and legally compliant refuse collection service for the borough’s residents.
Alternative options: To outright capital purchase a new fleet with in-house maintenance, with capital expenditure incurred in one financial year (2019/20); to contract hire a new fleet of vehicles, with maintenance undertaken in-house; or to contract hire a new fleet of vehicles, with outsourced maintenance.