OLD rubbish trucks in Brighton and Hove are likely to be replaced with diesel rather than electric vehicles.

The ageing fleet of 53 bin lorries is overdue to be replaced, according to a report going before a Brighton and Hove City Council committee on Tuesday.

Repeated breakdowns have resulted in extra spending on repairs, replacement vehicle hire and overtime to cover missed work.

Missed collections are also described in the report as “damaging the council’s reputation”.

Diesel is the chosen option as electric refuse collection trucks are expensive and the power drains quickly if the trucks have to go uphill – a necessity in Brighton and Hove.

The electric bin lorries also cost an extra £143,671 each which would mean spending £792 more to save one tonne of CO2.

Cityclean tested bin lorries fitted with electric lifting and compressing gear but these were found to be too slow and unreliable.

Members of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee are being asked to approve a fleet renewal strategy.

The aim would be to replace the oldest vehicles first as they are the most expensive to maintain. As the technology improves and prices come down, the council expects to shift towards electric, hydrogen and other technology for its fleet.

The council has 350 vehicles including refuse and recycling trucks, street sweepers, gritting lorries, vans, large tractors, mowers and pool cars. This will increase to 465 vehicles next year when the Mears housing repairs contract is brought in-house.

The council said that it also has 500 pieces of motorised equipment such as grass mowers and chainsaws.

It is expected to have to borrow money – a move that will need approval from the council’s Policy and Resources Committee when it meets next month.

The process of buying new specialist vehicles is expected to take from nine to 12 months.

The Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday (26 November). The meeting is scheduled to start at 4pm and should be open to the public.