New Changeworks vehicle

First all-electric recycling van hits Edinburgh streets


Forbes Connor, Lord Provost Frank Ross and Roddy Smith, Essential Edinburgh’s chief executive


Businesses in central Edinburgh will benefit from the first all-electric waste and recycling vehicle designed specifically for the city’s streets.

Costing in the region of £80,000, the bespoke vehicle is 100% powered by renewable electricity and will serve the Essential Edinburgh BID area. Almost half, (43%) of the city centre business community will have their waste and recycling collected from the zero emission vehicle.

Changeworks Recycling will trial the vehicle for six months before implementing a £1 million phased replacement programme across its 26 strong fleet, serving over 3,000 businesses across central Scotland.

The company, which counts the Scottish Parliament, The Edinburgh Grand luxury serviced apartments, Fettes College and the Palace of Holyrood amongst its client base, is planning to have its entire fleet powered by renewable electricity by 2022 thereby eliminating carbon emissions and significantly improving air quality for residents and visitors.

Mike McConnell, fleet manager from Changeworks Recycling, explained: “It was important to us that we use a vehicle that is suitable for the narrow streets of Edinburgh yet large enough for us to minimise the number of return trips to our depot. It has taken over 18 months from design to delivery but it will be worth the wait.”

The launch has been welcomed by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross who said: “Edinburgh aims to go carbon neutral by 2030 and I commend Changeworks Recycling for joining us on this ambitious journey.  We can only achieve this by public and private sectors working together to achieve a change for good and this is a great example of a private company taking the lead.” 

Forbes Connor, managing director of Changeworks Recycling, added: “Despite our existing fleet running entirely on biodiesel, it has always been our ambition to run a renewable powered electric fleet, and this is our first step in achieving this goal.”   


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