“Green” Amsterdam buys new diesel rubbish collection lorries

Photo: Joost J Bakker via Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam city council has put a contract for 37 new diesel-powered rubbish collection lorries out to tender, even though the city centre will be closed to all but emission-free taxis, lorries and vans in 2025, with some exceptions.

The tender application form states the lorries must be on the road before the 2025 deadline – which means they can be used up to 2030, when a total ban on all but emission-free vehicles comes into effect.

The decision to buy new diesel trucks has raised eyebrows, given the council’s green ambitions. Walther Ploos van Amstel, who lectures in logistics at Amsterdam’s HBO college, said the city is setting a poor example by not opting for electric lorries. “There are plenty of alternatives [to diesel] he said.

Small business organization MKB Amsterdam has also described the plan as unfair and the “wrong signal”, given its members are now investing in emissions-free vehicles to meet the deadline.

Amsterdam’s waste collection chief Zita Pels told the Parool via a spokesperson that the city had planned to buy electric trucks but there is not enough electricity grid capacity at city waste depots to charge them. The city bought two electric rubbish collection lorries in 2022.

In addition, the new trucks will replace more polluting older diesel vehicles, she said. The 37 lorries represent some 20% of council waste collection capacity.

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