World’s First Trash-Powered Electric Garbage Truck


The small UK town of Huddersfield announced what might be a world’s first: a trash-powered electric garbage truck.

The truck is a modified Smith Edison 3.5-ton Ford Transit municipal trash truck. The “leccy vehicle” has a  40kWh lithium-ion battery, and a range of about 100 miles. It can be fully charged in about 8 hours.

It’s a local truck for local people (I <3 Tubbs).

It will get its electricity from the Energy from Waste (EfW) station, a station responsible for converting the trash collected into energy. The station will burn the trash collected at 25 newly installed bins around central Huddersfield to generate the electricity. So the trash collected will power the vehicle for the next day’s route.

Aside from just powering the truck, the Eneregy from Waste station also pumps about 10 megawatts of juice back into the National Grid each day: all from fire-consumed local trash.

Currently, the EfW only has one recharging point. But hey, I’m not a half-emtpy, one is better than none!

Well, on the half-empty side of things, I do question how environmental this is. Here in the States, the EPA estimates that in 17-percent of the nation’s waste was burned to generate electricity (e.g., 14% in Pennsylvania, 2% in New Jersey; 2% in California), 55% was disposed in landfills, and 28% was recovered for reuse.

I am not sure I would say burning trash is a renewable energy source, though the EPA and some state governments disagree. But burning trash leads to the emission of carbon compounds ,nitrogen, sulphur, etc. Um, that can’t be good?

Source and photos: Register Hardware

Jerry James Stone

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.