Electric waste collection fleet launches in Seattle

electric waste collection
© iStock/Sean Pavone

The US city of Seattle, Washington has begun integrating the nation’s first fully electric waste collection vehicles into its municipal fleet.

Jessica Finn, director of the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment, said: “This announcement underscores Seattle’s leadership in turning climate policy into action and serves as a blueprint for other cities across the U.S. to eliminate carbon emissions from this vital service.”

The first round of refuse collection vehicles powered wholly by electricity will come into service this summer, with a second round projected to join the fleet next year. Seattle has set itself a target of powering its entire waste collection fleet with renewable energy sources by 2020. Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan said: “Our new Green Fleet at Seattle Public Utilities is another example of Seattle leading the world and taking bold action to protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. Vehicle emissions are the City’s number one contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions. Bringing those down will require increasing investments in transit, bikes, walking and adding density.”

Seattle Public Utilities has partnered with sustainable waste management firm Recology and vehicle manufacturers BYD Motors and New Way to deliver the electric waste collection trucks, along with other refuse collection vehicles powered by renewable natural gas produced from waste combustion. Derek Ruckman, Vice President and Group Manager for the Pacific Northwest at Recology, said: “By partnering with the City of Seattle, BYD and New Way, we can be a catalyst to effect positive, sustainable change, setting the stage for what a 21st century refuse truck should look like.”

BYD Motors’ Director of Business Development John Gerra said: “We’re proud to provide Recology and the residents of Seattle with the most advanced collection trucks in the world; and with the outstanding support we received from New Way for its advanced rear loader design, we are excited to build many more trucks together for the US market.”

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