The Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) in Florida has introduced its first-ever electric-powered waste collection vehicle.
The department purchased the LR Electric refuse vehicle from Greensboro, North Carolina-based Mack Trucks in May of this year. A prior release announcing the purchase states the LR Electric model will be used in residential route collection for Miami-Dade County.
According to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami-Dade used funding opportunities and support from the federal government to help its transition to zero-emission refuse trucks.
“Initiatives like these are a big step towards environmental justice and with the help of the Inflation Reduction Act, we are going to invest even more in cleaner trucks and buses that we use every day at every level of government—from here in Miami-Dade County up to the halls of Congress,” she says.
DSWM says the new vehicle will undergo yearly maintenance, allowing for significant cost savings when compared to the quarterly maintenance required for the department’s fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Additionally, powering the vehicle with electricity produces zero emissions and significantly reduces noise when compared to diesel engines.
“This truck represents our countywide commitment to climate action and brings us one step closer to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” says Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “This electric-powered waste collection truck joins a growing county-wide fleet of clean vehicles as we work to reduce the county’s carbon footprint, preserving and protecting our community for generations to come.”
At current fuel pricing levels, DSWM expects to see a return on investment within five years. The vehicle will be parked and recharged each night at the county’s Resources Recovery waste-to-energy facility.
“This electric truck is a testament [to] what smart policies can do, to think that the waste-to-energy facility can be the source of powering this truck, this puts Miami-Dade County in a very unique position to truly use clean energy, [or] non-fossil fuels. We are going to see a future of cleaner air in our county with this vehicle and others like it that will potentially be powered by the same facility and hopefully get us off the grid resulting in savings and efficiencies for taxpayers,” says Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Miami-Dade County chairman.
DSWM Director Mike Fernandez adds, “The waste this truck picks up during the day will be incinerated at the Resources Recovery Facility, creating the electricity to recharge the truck at night. This will be the first automated side loader waste collection vehicle in the U.S. that will be powered by the very waste it collects. This will be a full-circle process.”
The DSWM provides waste collection and disposal services to more than 340,000 households in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and the municipalities: Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles Beach and Sweetwater.