CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Trash collection in Charleston could soon be going green.
Charleston officials are testing out an all-electric garbage truck. Officials are using the two-day trial run to determine if the vehicle can make it through the entire route without needing to be recharged. If successful, the city will look to obtain a grant to purchase one of the trucks and eventually replace the current diesel trucks.
The purchase would make Charleston the first city in South Carolina to use an electric garbage truck, according to officials.
The electric garbage truck was put to work on Wednesday afternoon, collecting trash from city neighborhoods.
“It’s the truck of the future. Everything is going to be going this way eventually,” said Matt Alltop, the Superintendent of Environmental Services for Charleston.
According to Alltop the truck still had about 38% of its battery left after completing ¾ of the route.
The Mack truck is powered by two electric motors and is 100% emissions-free. According to city officials, Mack said other cities that use the trucks saw a 75% decrease in yearly energy costs per vehicle.
While the $700,000 truck is more expensive than its diesel counterpart, leaders said maintaining it will be cheaper in the long run.
“You don’t have a lot of parts in this truck. Oil, there’s no fuel. There’s none of that in there so it makes maintenance much easier,” said Alltop.
Rodney Richardson has been behind the wheel of a garbage truck for the last 14 years. He said the new electric version is much quieter than the diesel. After trying out the truck on Wednesday, he gave his stamp of approval.
“It does make my job a lot easier driving-wise. Especially when you go to pick up a can. Especially when the can is too close to the mailbox, I can push the arm in closer,” said Richardson.
The electric garbage truck will be used to pick up trash again on Thursday. On Friday it will head to Columbia where it will also be tested, according to officials.