THE first wave of Liverpool’s first fully owned fleet of refuse vehicles has arrived to boost the city’s bid to meet new refuse and recycling targets. Liverpool City Council approved a £3.4m loan for Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd (LSSL) to acquire twenty refuse vehicles and ten new vehicle bin lifts to improve the collection and recycling of household waste across the city. The first 10 vehicles of the brand new fuel efficient fleet have now arrived with the second tranche to begin operations in October. The new vehicles will each be able to collect more than three tonnes of waste and are fitted with rear wheel drive and a faster and safer operating mechanisms, which will free up more than two hours a day for collections. The new bin lifts will also make for a more efficient service allowing each vehicle to do 1,200 lifts a day compared to the current average of 925 – a 20% rise. Providing a more effective refuse and recycling service the new fleet will help the city’s efforts to reach its target of recycling more than 55% of waste by 2020. The capital loan – which does not affect the council’s annual budget – will be repaid over the next ten years by LSSL, which was established in 2016 when the city council brought cleansing and refuse operations back under its control. The request for the loan followed a LSSL review of the current fleet, which is hired and subject to high maintenance costs. Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods who is also a Director of LSSL, said: “This investment in a new fleet of refuse vehicles is a great statement of intent in our goal to make Liverpool a cleaner and greener city. “The council inherited a tired and run down fleet which was inefficient, unreliable and costly. Having a brand new refuse fleet that is bigger, faster and safer will give the collection teams the right tools to ensure residents receive a more reliable service. “However, we still need residents to take action by reducing, reusing and recycling their waste enable us to hit our targets and reduce the costs to them.’’ The purchase of the eco-friendly refuse fleet follows the recent announcement that Liverpool is on course to meet its climate change targets – three years ahead of schedule. According to recent government statistics, the city has already achieved a staggering 18% reduction in carbon emissions since 2012 and is on course to hit 35% by 2020. The city council has now approved a report to press ahead with a series of initiatives to continue the drive to a “Low Carbon Liverpool” by setting an increased carbon reduction target by 2030.