Seattle rolls out electric garbage trucks in pioneering transition away from fossil fuels

A Recology garbage truck in Washington. (Facebook Photo / Recology)

Seattle is transitioning its fleet of waste management vehicles away from fossil fuels, starting with the nation’s first full-sized, 100 percent electric garbage trucks.

The vehicles come from Recology, a sustainability-focused waste management company serving the West Coast. The first one will start service in Seattle this summer and the second will be introduced in 2020. That’s the year Seattle officials are targeting to transition the entire fleet of garbage trucks to renewable energy sources.

Seattle already has dozens of waste management trucks powered by renewable natural gas, a power source derived from decaying trash in landfills. The fleet also has 80 Recology trucks that are powered by a diesel derived from a variety of renewable sources including vegetable oil and animal tallow.

When the transition is complete, Seattle will have closed to 200 garbage trucks powered by renewable fuels, including electric and hybrid vehicles.

“This announcement underscores Seattle’s leadership in turning climate policy into action and serves as a blueprint for other cities across the U.S. to eliminate carbon emissions from this vital service,” said Jessica Finn, director of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, in a statement.

Seattle-area transportation leaders are also adopting electric buses and electric ferries.

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