As part of its drive towards a greener future, Newcastle City Council has introduced a hybrid-electric vehicle to the city’s waste management fleet.
The Toyota Corolla hybrid, the first of three expected to join the fleet this year, will help waste coordinators save around 4000 litres of fuel and eight tonnes of carbon emissions (per car over 100,000kms) on rounds repairing bins and liaising with residents.
The move to hybrids presages a future in which quieter, more efficient electric garbage trucks service the city.
“This new car is an important step in our quest to improve the energy efficiency of our operations,” said council’s Waste Manager Darren North.
“We’re closely following the development of electric powered or hybrid garbage trucks, and once the technology is up to the testing task of daily rounds, and the trucks pose real value for rate payers, we will consider adding them to our fleet.
“The tender for our own solar farm here at Summerhill was announced last week and it would be invaluable in assisting with the cost effectiveness of these types of vehicles.”
The decision comes after council recently joined the Cities Power Partnership, a Climate Council program in which cities pledge key actions to reduce their climate impact.
Promoting sustainable transport through electric vehicles and cycling, and installing energy-efficient LED lighting around the city are among the key actions, as are Summerhill’s solar farm and eight existing solar set-ups.
Under the council-endorsed Newcastle 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan, council is progressing renewable energy generation and energy efficiency.
Energy-efficient retrofits at popular cultural and recreational centres have already helped slash council’s electricity consumption.
A landfill gas generator and small wind turbine at Summerhill, and a battery storage system at No.2 Sportsground, are also part of the efficiency drive.
Featured image: Waste collections coordinator Dan Radford (left) receives the keys to the Toyota hybrid from Darren North at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.