First electric kerbside waste collection truck arrives on New Zealand streets

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 6, 2017

Waste Management NZ today demonstrated their first electric truck for residential wheelie bin waste collections, which will start work on New Zealand streets from October this year.

Christchurch will be the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to put a 100% electric residential waste collection truck into service, and more electric trucks will arrive in Waste Management‘s fleet in other New Zealand cities by the end of 2017.

Waste Management announced its move towards a fleet of electric vehicles in September last year as part of its sustainability commitment. The company has introduced more than 20 electric cars within its light fleet. Earlier this year it also launched an electric box body truck that collected food waste from Countdown supermarkets across Auckland. This new truck will be the first electric truck designed and dedicated to collecting residential wheelie bins from the kerbside.

Waste Management managing director Tom Nickels says the new truck is further evidence of the company‘s continued shift to EVs.

“With a large fleet of trucks and cars on the road we believe we can help safeguard our environment for future generations through the adoption of electric vehicle technology. I am delighted we‘re bringing this strategy to life by rolling out electric trucks across New Zealand.”

Waste Management‘s move to electric vehicles is unique as an example of the circular economy in action: waste taken to Waste Management‘s modern, sustainable landfill and energy parks is used to generate electricity, which is then fed into the national grid.

This is possible because Waste Management‘s landfill technology holds all waste in a sealed environment. This means it can capture the naturally emitted gas from the waste as it digests anaerobically, which is then fed into generators to create power.

Up to 95% of gas emissions are captured through this process, putting enough power back into the national grid to power 18,000 homes nationally.

Initial calculations suggest collecting waste in this new truck from 1200 to 1500 homes per day will fill the truck to its 16-tonne capacity. The gas produced by that waste through the landfill would produce approximately 6,000 kWh of electricity – enough energy to run the truck with additional power to run 275 homes for one day.