Harnessing Customer Waste to Power Electric Vehicles: Grundon’s Innovative Solution

By Sophia Francise

July 6, 2023

South West waste management firm Gurdon is launching a £300k electric collection vehicle at its Bristol site.

The company unveiled its first electric garbage trucks, powered by customer waste electricity, as part of an annual £5 million investment in a cleaner collection fleet.

The vehicle is a converted Dennis Eagle Mercedes-Benz Econic, converting from diesel to electric in partnership with Gloucestershire-based Refuse Vehicle Solutions and Dutch conversion specialists EMOSS.

First vehicles are already operating from Colnbrook, serving London and Thames Valley customers.

Grundon’s Circular Economy in Action

Every day, it transports the waste it collects to Grundon’s Lakeside Energy from Waste (EfW) facility, where it is converted into more than enough electricity to power the vehicle until the following day’s pickup.

It is creating “more than enough” electricity to charge the vehicle ready for the next day’s collections, writes Grundon.

“We are collecting their waste in electric vehicles, turning it into electricity via our Lakeside Energy from Waste facility and using it to power our vehicles ready for their next collections. It is a perfect example of the circular economy in action and we believe it is the first time any waste company has delivered such an innovative and forward-thinking program,” said Chairman, Neil Grundon.

The numbers also support it; for every tonne of non-recyclable waste deposited, the EfW generates around 620kW of power.

The EfW facility has a capacity of 3,100kW per day per electric vehicle and can collect an average of five tonnes of waste per round.

After allocating 280 kW to charging each vehicle, 2,820 kW of electricity is available for daily export to the National Grid, adequate to power an average-sized household for a year.1

A second electric garbage truck is in Bristol depot, with a third set to start collections in Reading and Newbury. 

Two more electric vehicles will be based in Colnbrook and Bristol, increasing the EV fleet to five. 

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Further electric and alternative fuel vehicles are also planned, but concrete numbers are not yet disclosed.

The Grundon, Refuse Vehicle Solutions (RVS), and EMOSS Partnership

Grundon partners with Refuse Vehicle Solutions and EMOSS for the ongoing conversion program, focusing on electric vehicles for financial and environmental reasons.

“Modifying a diesel refuse vehicle not only saves in excess of £100,000 versus the purchase of a new electric vehicle, but it also gives it a new lease of life – literally recycling on the go,” said Spencer Law, the CEO of, RVS

“We already had a long-standing relationship with Grundon, and when they started looking at the electrification route, we were proud to be chosen as their preferred supplier. As two family-owned businesses working together, we have absolute confidence and trust in each other’s abilities.”

“Having searched around the globe for a partner that could deliver the conversion technology, it became clear that EMOSS is a world leader in the field of vehicle electrification conversion kits. Together, our joint initiative is delivering real change on the UK’s roads, and we look forward to expanding the electrification program still further.”

EMOSS’s UK Business Development Manager, Vernon Edwards, emphasized the importance of seeing the technology for itself after trials. 

Grundon and RVS visited the factory to assess vehicle performance, confirming EMOSS’s excellent track record with over 600 vehicles using conversion kits worldwide.

“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Grundon and RVS and have a very strong bond with them. It is thanks to RVS’s capabilities – in particular those of Josh Law – and their experience of refurbishing refuse collection vehicles, that we were able to deliver the solutions Grundon was expecting,” said Edwards.

Expertise focused on ensuring battery technology powers hydraulic and compulsion systems for managing collections, bin lifts, and compaction processes, not just road vehicles.

Grundon director Bradley Smith plans to invest in electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and hybrid options.

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He is excited about the increasing battery performance and the potential for hybrid electric/hydrogen vehicles. 

As part of its environmental pledge, Grundon is building a fleet of mixed alternative fuel vehicles, including an ultra-low emission hydrogen diesel dual-fuel waste collection vehicle.

References

  1. Grundon, ‘Grundon unveils electric waste vehicles powered by customer waste’, Grundon, 4 July 2023, https://www.grundon.com/grundon-unveils-electric-waste-vehicles-powered-by-customer-waste/[]
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