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Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management's first electric collection vehicle begins operation

An electric collection vehicle is parked on a street
Miami-Dade's Mack LR Electric collection vehicle

Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) has introduced its first-ever electric-powered waste collection vehicle. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, DSWM Director Michael Fernandez, and Darren Jane, district sales manager for Mack Trucks, were all in attendance. 

The brand-new vehicle will undergo yearly maintenance, compared to the quarterly maintenance schedule for fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Powering the vehicle with electricity produces zero emissions and significantly reduces noise 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 Mayor 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 will see a return on investment within five years.

"This electric truck is a testament of 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 (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 Chairman Jose "Pepe" Diaz.

"Every step counts in the fight against climate change and the introduction of this electric garbage truck is a part of that fight," says Commissioner Eileen Higgins. "Our air will be cleaner, our neighbourhoods less noisy, and trash pickup more efficient once our entire fleet has been electrified. Today is the beginning of that project."

The vehicle will be parked and recharged each night at the county's resources recovery facility. It will service a nearby residential area.

"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," said Mike Fernandez, DSWM Director. "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 Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management provides waste collection and disposal services to more than 340,000 households in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and ten municipalities: Aventura, Cutler Bay, Doral, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles Beach, and Sweetwater.

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