Chippenham-based waste management, plant hire and civil engineering company MJ Church has pioneered the launch of one of the world’s first zero emission all-electric commercial waste collection trucks.

The project cost the company an investment of almost £500,000.

The truck has been designed to be compliant with the newly announced Bath Clean Air Zone , the impending zone in Bristol and the expected roll out of others in urban centres around the region.

The company claims this not only drastically reduces the output of harmful emissions but also guarantees that businesses can have their waste collected without incurring additional costs in fines and with no further disruption or delay.

“Most businesses do have a sense of social responsibility and see themselves as vital parts of their communities.

"They want to operate sustainably and create as little negative impact on their environments as possible," said director Tom Church.

The truck will serve a wide range of commercial and retail businesses, as well as vital service sector businesses including hospitals, Doctors’ surgeries, schools and retirement homes.

MJ Church specified a 10-hour operating shift range and an electrically-powered hydraulic lifter, packer and compactor into the design, which can lift large commercial bins, empty them into the hopper, compact the refuse and then subsequently eject it.

This demands a lot of power and that puts a significant demand on the batteries. No other manufacturer has been able to come up with a similarly robust, efficient and reliable solution for this.

It has been calculated that the truck saves six tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere each year.

This means on the life cycle of a truck over seven years more than 252 trees would have to be planted, or 2,520 trees for a fleet of 10 trucks.

“Emissions levels in urban centres are a serious issue – it goes way beyond business.

"Nothing is more important than peoples’ health,” Tom added. “We have been watching this issue develop over the last few years and as awareness has increased, so the pressure for meaningful change has increased with it."