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Fairfax County to unveil its first all-electric trash truck today

Fairfax County has acquired its first all-electric trash truck (courtesy DPWES)

The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) is unveiling its first electric refuse trash truck today (Friday).

The truck will “pick up residential trash and yard waste on routes throughout the county,” DPWES announced. The county says the truck is “a move that will save money and protect the environment.”

The unveiling falls in line with the county’s strategy to make government operations carbon-neutral by 2040.

“Electric vehicles produce zero emissions, meaning cleaner air for Fairfax County. Electric vehicles are quieter, also reducing noise pollution. The electric truck saves residents money by requiring less overall maintenance and eliminating fuel costs,” the site reads.

The truck will join a fleet that already has 50 electric vehicles in operation, including four sedans used by DPWES. In addition, Fairfax County Public Schools has eight electric school buses.

Scott Peterson, vice chair of local environmental advocacy group Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, called the new trash truck a positive first step.

“We hope the trial is successful and that electric trash trucks in the county, both private and county-owned, will quickly become the new normal,” Peterson said. “Heavy trucks running through our neighborhoods won’t be polluting the air we all breathe, and they’ll be so much quieter, too.”

Charging stations have been installed at the DPWES Newington Collections facility at 6901 Allen Park Road, where the county is holding the unveiling.

“When the battery has less than 20 percent of power, it will take up to five hours to recharge. Once it’s on its route, this truck can hold up to seven tons of recycling and up to 12 tons of trash,” the county says.

The trucks cost the county roughly $350,000 and are paid for by the Department’s Solid Waste Management Program and a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality grant. The county expects to have a second electric truck in September.

The unveiling is open to the public, and several county lawmakers are scheduled to speak. The event starts at 11 am.