A cabinet councillor has hailed plans to replace all the diesel powered waste and recycling lorries, as a ‘defining moment’ and ‘a game changer’ in the drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Cabinet councillors will meet to consider the ground-breaking plans on June 1, which if fully implemented, would cut approximately 800 tonnes of CO2 from the town’s annual emissions over the next decade.

Councillor Colin Swansborough, Lead Member for Climate Change, said: “This is undoubtedly a defining moment in the history of our town’s response to the climate emergency and one that I am certain our residents will want us to grasp with both hands.

“Our future rests in the hands of decision makers today and I want to look back with a clear conscience and know that this council played its part in making the fundamental changes we so desperately need.”

The research by council officers has included trialling electric vehicles and exploring the use of hydrogen ones, as well as the feasibility of renewable diesel. This work will continue as the technology develops.

The timetable proposed includes a move to electric vehicles for food waste collections by 2025 in tandem with the installation of charging infrastructure at the Courtlands Road depot, while renewable diesel will be used during the interim period, prior to the running of a zero emission fleet in 2030.

Councillor Colin Swansborough, added: “When I look my grandchildren in the eye, I am reminded that we simply cannot let their generation down, we have to act now to stop climate change, history will judge us extremely harshly if we don’t – the time for talking is over.

“These plans represent a game changer in our efforts to become carbon neutral in Eastbourne.”