First electric-powered kerbside collection truck

Article image - First electric-powered kerbside collection truck East Waste General Manager Rob Gregory said residents will love the new almost silent rubbish truck.

South Australia’s first electric-powered kerbside collection truck took to the streets of metropolitan Adelaide at the end of February.

The new truck is owned and operated by waste and resource management company East Waste.

East Waste General Manager, Rob Gregory, said the new truck replaces a diesel-powered truck and, with zero emissions, will remove from suburban streets the equivalent of 20 vehicles generating 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The truck is the first in a fleet replacement program and is supplied by an Australian company, Superior Pak, using drivetrain technology from another Australian company, SEA Electric.

It cost about $550,000, which is $150,000 more than a diesel truck. The extra investment will return financial savings along with a raft of environmental benefits.

“It is much more than a terrific environmental initiative by East Waste.

“It will deliver financial gain to better manage the cost of kerbside collections of recyclable resources and waste.

“We conservatively project that our new electric vehicle will save more than $220,000 over the seven year life of its diesel predecessor. Even with the extra $150,000 purchase price, that is a $70,000 saving.”

The cost savings will be greater if, as expected, diesel prices continue to climb. Moreover, with significantly fewer moving parts than a conventional motor, the new truck is expected to last longer than seven years.

Maintenance costs will be reduced by at least two-thirds. The truck’s drivetrain generates electricity each time it reduces speed, returning charge to the batteries and reducing wear and tear; especially to brake pads.

“Residents will fall in love with our new truck without realising it.

“With reduced air pollution comes the removal of noise pollution as the truck travels from house to house on bin collection day. It is almost silent.”

East Waste installed a 36kw solar system at its Ottaway depot to provide renewable energy to charge the truck’s batteries every day.

East Waste is a subsidiary of seven metropolitan Adelaide councils; the cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Mitcham, Norwood, Payneham and St Peters and Prospect, the Town of Walkerville and the Adelaide Hills Council.