BIN trucks claimed to be the country’s first rural all-electric refuse vehicles are being piloted by SP Energy Networks in partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Council as the region works towards achieving its 2025 net zero emissions target.

Two new £1.04 million refuse vehicles, funded as part of SP Energy Networks’ £20 million Green Economy Fund, were unveiled this morning in Dumfries by Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SP Energy Networks and John Martin, vice chair of the local authority’s communities committee, supported by Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP.

The electric refuse vehicles are said to be the country’s first for a rural area and will be introduced onto routes serving local communities across both Dumfries and Stranraer, the two largest towns in Dumfries and Galloway.

Using the vehicles to collect waste is part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality across the region, with the added benefit of reducing noise pollution in residential neighbourhoods.

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SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund was established to support the Scottish Government’s ambitious energy strategy and the drive to become net zero by 2045. In 2019, Dumfries & Galloway Council made history by passing a Climate Emergency Declaration, agreeing to reduce carbon emissions in the region to net zero by 2025.

The new electric vehicles, manufactured by Electra Commercial Vehicles at their factory in Blackburn, England, encompasses a battery size of 287KW which will give the vehicle a range of approximately 100 miles over 12 hours of operation, enabling bin lorry operators to execute 1,500 bin lifts.

HeraldScotland: The new electric vehicles have a battery size of 287KW which give a range of 100 miles over 12 hours of operation, enabling bin lorry operators to execute 1,500 bin lifts.The new electric vehicles have a battery size of 287KW which give a range of 100 miles over 12 hours of operation, enabling bin lorry operators to execute 1,500 bin lifts.

Mr Mitchell said: “Dumfries & Galloway has ambitious plans to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2025, however, for that to happen there will need to be big changes. The introduction of the two new electric refuse vehicles are a sign of what’s to come in all our towns and cities eventually. Not only will they reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, they’re a statement of intent and provide a blueprint for similar technology that will be rolled out across the region.

“We’re proud to be supporting Dumfries & Galloway Council in its bold 2025 net zero journey and helping to improve the lives of people in the communities we serve. By funding the first rural fleet of completely electric refuse vehicles, we’re determined that no community will be left behind in the journey to net zero emissions and this is just one of many ways we’re enabling that change.”

Mr Martin said: “Dumfries & Galloway has declared a climate emergency and set out bold targets to have net zero emissions by 2025. For us to achieve that, we need creative solutions specifically tailored to the local challenges faced by rural communities. The launch of these electric refuge vehicles shows our intent to roll out electric transport solutions across public services in years to come.

“The generous grant from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund has enabled us to commission two electric refuse vehicles for use in rural communities across the region. As a leader in the UK’s transition to net zero, Dumfries & Galloway is in a strong position to pilot green technology that has the potential to transform public services to be greener and cleaner in future years.”

 The Green Economy Fund contributes to the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets, boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for local communities. SP Energy Networks is committed to delivering the infrastructure needed for Scotland to transition to electric vehicles.

So far, 35 projects have been awarded funding from SP Energy Networks across Central and Southern Scotland. SP Energy Networks is part of the ScottishPower group, a Principal Partner for the United Nations climate change conference COP26 to be held in Glasgow later this year.

Restaurant celebrates 30 years in Glasgow with return of classic dishes

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Italian restaurant Il Pavone, in Glasgow’s Princes Square, has brought back “classic dishes” from its first-ever menu from 1991 to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

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Recruitment firm Be-IT hail revenue hike

HeraldScotland: Gareth Biggerstaff, chief executive, and Nikola Kelly, managing directorGareth Biggerstaff, chief executive, and Nikola Kelly, managing director

IT recruitment firm Be-IT is projecting revenues of £14 million this year after a strong start to the year.

READ MORE: The company said it is confident it will hit revenue growth of 20 per cent on 2020 levels, as the sector sees increased activity.

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