First electric refuse truck unveiled

By Maurice Garvey

BALLYMOUNT operator Panda has unveiled Ireland’s first electric refuse truck amid plans for a first ‘bottle to bottle’ plastic recycling facility.

Waste management company Panda, part of the Beauparc utilities group, announced the plans as part of the drive to make Ireland a fully circular economy.

Panda Electric3 1

Brian Bolger, Group Fleet Director, Panda with Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD and Des Crinion, Managing Director Recycling, Beauparc Photo by Jason Clarke

The fully electric, zero emission refuse collection vehicle (eRCV) is the first of its kind for a municipal waste and recycling operator in Ireland.

Newly installed solar panels powering the nation’s largest household recycling facility in Ballymount will also charge the electric vehicle, making the entire process of collecting and recycling waste completely carbon-free.


The vehicle is also significantly quieter while operating in residential areas.

Panda are on track to have the urban fleet fully electric by 2024.

 The replacement of 30 vehicles is currently in operation within Dublin city, which the firm say would result in a net reduction of 810 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

 Last year, Panda announced an investment into 45 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled refuse trucks to be rolled out in rural areas.

Alongside this, Panda is investing €20m into a dedicated bottle to bottle plastic recycling facility in Portlaoise which will create up to 100 new jobs.

Panda are currently collaborating with Trinity College Dublin and Science Foundation Ireland on this project as part of a circular economy application for the European Green Deal.

The new facility is projected to be operational by the end of 2021 and will process up to one billion plastic water and soft drinks bottles per year.

20,000 tonnes of plastic bottles used in Ireland are currently exported to the UK and Europe for processing.

The plant in Portlaoise will have the capacity to serve the entire Irish market, eliminating the need to export.

Panda is in advanced negotiations with a number of major soft drinks manufacturers to collect, sort and process the material into new bottles, ultimately, many of these bottles will be collected using the zero emissions electric vehicles, facilitating a ‘closed loop’ recycling process.

Des Crinion, Managing Director Recycling, Beauparc said: “The commissioning of electric refuse collection vehicles is a key development in our ambition to reduce our carbon emissions and push the circular economy forward.

“Of course, it is vital that the material these vehicles collect is managed in the most environmentally responsible way, and that is why I am especially pleased to announce our plans for a bottle to bottle recycling facility. 

As a nation we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to improve our performance with regard to sustainability, waste generation, plastics and the circular economy.

Beauparc currently employs 2,300 people, processes 2 million tonnes of material across Ireland, the UK and Europe and supplies over 75,000 homes and businesses with renewable electricity.

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