Biffa collection trucks topic of new book
Timothy Byrne’s new book offers a pictorial history of Biffa Waste and its collection trucks.
Photo provided by Timothy Byrne.

Biffa collection trucks topic of new book

U.K.-based waste industry consultant gathers pictorial history of waste and recycling company’s fleet through the decades.

February 18, 2021

United Kingdom-based waste management industry consultant and journalist Timothy Byrne says he has been interested in waste transportation vehicles ever since he was four years old. Byrne claims he “remembers all the national and regional waste management companies which existed from the late 1970s to the year 2000,” and he has drawn on those memories to create a photo-heavy book displaying the history of one U.K.-based waste firm in particular.

Byrne, who says has a degree in waste management from the University of Northampton in the U.K., is a Chartered Waste Manager (MCIWM) through the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, and says he is International Waste Manager certified by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

He has worked in a variety of roles in the industry for many years, and currently works as an International Waste Management consultant.

As a hobbyist, his home harbors what he calls an extensive collection of photographs and slides, illustrating dry and liquid waste collection vehicles, operated by companies including Biffa Waste Services.

That firm first came into existence in 1912 as Richard Biffa Ltd., says Byrne. He says Richard Biffa Jr. joined the business in the late 1950s, and then in the 1960s introduced the use of skip loader vehicles into the business for the collection of commercial and industrial waste.

In 1971 Biffa was acquired by British Electric Traction (BET) and became known as Biffa Waste Services. According to Byrne, Biffa then successfully developed a national network of controlled landfill sites, waste transfer stations and hazardous waste treatment facilities.

Richard Biffa Junior was also one of the founding members of the National Association of Waste Disposal Contractors (NAWDC), when that U.K. organization was set up in the late 1960s.

“My book covers the development of Biffa’s fleet of dry and liquid waste collection vehicles from the late 1970s to the 2000s,” says Byrne. “It contains the key acquisitions made by Biffa of UK waste management companies. It also includes American and Canadian type waste handling equipment operated by the business during this period, such as Dempster, E-Z Pack, Garwood, Heil, Leach and McNeilus models.”

Continues Byrne, “I felt it was important to write a book covering Biffa’s developments during this period, to respect the people involved in Biffa Waste Services through this era of the company’s development. I also felt it was important to map the developments Biffa made over this era, for both the present and future generations of waste managers to refer to as a point of reference.”

Overall, the book reviews some of the most interesting eras in the development of the UK private sector waste management industry, in terms of vehicle and equipment innovation.

The book, titled “A Pictorial History of Biffa Waste Services Dry and Liquid Waste Collection Vehicles,” can be ordered via this eBay web page