Adur bin lorries clock up an average annual mileage sufficient to reach Australia – so a new £4.2million fleet will have its work cut out.
Adur and Worthing councils have received the keys to 24 new vehicles, with the ten-year-old fleet due for replacement.
The bright blue lorries, emblazoned with the councils’ redesigned logo, are expected to travel around 8,500 miles a year – almost the distance between Worthing and Perth, in Australia.
Councillor Emma Evans, Adur cabinet member for environment said: “It is great to see the new fleet in place.
“The team have worked very hard throughout the whole procurement process to ensure we have obtained the best value for our residents and this fleet delivers just that as well important environmental benefits.”
The cost of the replacement vehicles will be partly offset by the old fleet being sold at auction.
The lorries will serve three different purposes. Three will solely deal with commercial waste, eight will collect recycling and 13 will have separate compartments for domestic waste and garden rubbish.
Councillor Diane Guest, Worthing cabinet member for environment, said: “For many people, the most visible part of a council’s services is having their bins emptied every week and we are showing with the introduction of our new fleet that we will continue to put residents at the heart of everything we do.”
The councils’ waste strategy manager Paul Willis is among a number of staff penning regular posts online.
The authorities also published a series of question and answer articles from members of the refuse team.
They include tales of staff being chased by dogs while collecting bins from front gardens, residents locking themselves out when coming to greet them and coming to their aid in medical emergencies.
One of them, Richard Foster, said: “I had to phone 999 to help someone having a heart attack and also an injured cyclist who was knocked off their bike.”
The old refuse vehicles each collected an estimated 27,500 tonnes of rubbish in their ten years.
Most of it was normal household waste – but staff reported more unusual finds including a motorbike, live chicken and a grim discovery of nine dead cats. Visit adur-worthing.gov.uk to read posts from council staff.