A new electric waste vehicle was trialled in Bucks last week as councils work towards reducing toxic air pollution in the area.

The Electra lorry took to the roads in Chiltern and Wycombe to see if it could cope with the demand placed on the dozens of refuse vehicles that work across the districts.

The vehicle was tested to see if it can cope with hills, amount of waste and the amount of time spent travelling each day.

Cabinet member for environment at Chiltern District Council, Mike Smith, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to improve our service and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test the Electra.

“We have 39 collection vehicles each travelling 1,300 miles a month collecting 264 tonnes of refuse, recycling, green waste and food across Chiltern and Wycombe at the moment.

“Imagine what a difference it would make to our carbon emissions and the air quality if all those vehicles were electric.

“Whilst we’re excited about the possibilities of electric refuse vehicles, I must stress this is only a trial at the moment.

“Whatever the outcome of this particular test run, it’s a positive step to improve our service and help to protect our local environment.”

Cabinet member for environment at Wycombe District Council, Julia Adey, added the electric vehicles could “seriously reduce” the authority’s carbon footprint, as 600,000 miles are clocked up every year by waste lorries in the districts.

She said: “Moving over to electric vehicles could seriously reduce our carbon footprint and have an enormous impact on air quality in our local area given that the joint waste team fleet of vehicles clocks up over 600,000 miles a year between them.

“We’re a long way off from making the change, but this is the first step.”