The Des Moines, Iowa, City Council approved the purchase of its Public Works Department's first all-electric garbage truck on Monday, June 27.

The approval signals the city's intent to meet goals of becoming carbon neutral, according to a press release. The city's public works director estimates that its 35 refuse collection trucks use nearly half of the city's diesel, despite representing less than 5% of its 900-vehicle fleet.

“Because of the nature of collecting garbage, recycling and yard waste, they stop and start frequently, leading to an inefficient fuel usage. Switching this fleet over to electric will greatly reduce our City’s carbon emissions," said Public Works Director Jonathan Gano.

The city will purchase a custom-built Mack LR Electric truck, which is powered by four lithium ion batteries. Solid waste division drivers had an opportunity to test drive the truck. Gano said it drives the same way and is built on the same platform as the make and model the city has been purchasing for the last few years.

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