Bin those fumes

• Councillor Carol Reeve-Fowkes is looking forward to flicking the switch on the city’s rubbish truck fleet. Photo by Steve Grant.

COCKBURN and Fremantle councils are in a race to ditch their diesel-spewing rubbish trucks for environmentally friendly electric fleet.

While Cockburn this week announced a looming trial of an electric rubbish truck, a Freo councillor says their contractor has one on order as part of the switch-over to the three-bin FOGO system.

Cockburn west ward councillor Carol Reeve-Fowkes told the Herald she hopes the whole fleet can be switched over, saying it could take seven years to make the transition.

Electric

“I’m hoping that the trial of the first electric rubbish vehicle will happen this year, with the intention to trial the truck across all three waste streams, to ensure it can meet the load and distance requirements,” she said.

“Other vehicles, buses, ride-on mowers and light fleet vehicles are all being examined for potential conversion too, perhaps even hand-held equipment like brush cutters and blowers can be transitioned too towards electric rather than petrol in future.”

With Cockburn signed up to send it’s rubbish to a waste-to-energy incinerator, Cr Reeve-Fowkes said the council could buy back electricity to recharge the vehicle.

“What a great way to keep rates low,” she said.

Fremantle councillor Andrew Sullivan said the council first discussed the idea a couple of years ago.

“We were talking about freight movements and the Los Angeles port in California – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s territory – and how they were using electric trucks to move containers around,” Cr Sullivan said.

He said the technology was developing so rapidly, it could change the discussion about Fremantle’s port, as electric-powered semi-trailers moving containers could eliminate fears about pollutants along the route.

by STEVE GRANT

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