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Boise welcomes first all-electric recycling truck to fleet

The truck can serve up to 120 containers per day and collect seven tons of material before it needs to dump it off local recycling centers.

BOISE, Idaho — On Wednesday morning, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and officials from Republic Services formally welcomed the first all-electric recycling truck in the waste company's fleet of trash vehicles.

The 21-ton truck unveiled on Wednesday is the first of multiple electric trucks that will be joining Republic Services' fleet of vehicles used to collect trash, recycling and compost from across Boise.

According to the city, the recycling truck is rear-loading and will collect commercial recycling in Boise five days a week. The truck, which took two and half years before debuting on Wednesday, can serve up to 120 containers per day and collect seven tons of material before it needs to dump it off local recycling centers.

"What's really cool and exciting about this is that we are experimenting, we're making sure that Boise leads that we're building an economy around it and we have jobs in the future here in the valley," McLean said during a ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday.

Other electric vehicles, or EVs, are scheduled to join Republic Services' fleet in the future. EVs are meant to improve sustainability and clean air.

“This is a great example of how innovation and partnerships can help us achieve our broader climate goals," Mayor Lauren McLean said in a statement. "Clean air, less reliance on fossil fuels and a firm commitment to transitioning to clean electricity benefits all residents and businesses in Boise."

EVs in Idaho will have a 93% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over diesel and will have 91% fewer emissions than natural gas-powered vehicles, the city said in a statement.

Ryan Lawler, Republic Services’ director of Northwest operations, said that the company is leading the way in the electrification of the environmental services industry.

“We’re honored to partner with a forward-thinking municipality like Boise, and believe this truck will benefit local residents, our employees and the environment," they said.

The newest electric recycling truck can complete an entire route and be powered for ten hours on a single charge, according to city officials. The truck can then return to base and recharge overnight.

In June, the City of Trees announced plans for the capital city to become completely carbon neutral by 2050, after the city government reaches the goal in 2035.

"It will be tough to beat and we are going to do everything we can to beat it and the great thing about goals is you've got one because you know it's going to be hard, and you're going to try to get there," McLean said at the time.

The current plan is to have five electric recycling trucks in Boise by the end of 2021. Republic Services said the company is working with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the city to achieve its goal.

McLean added on Wednesday that these steps will help ensure Boise will have a prosperous economy in the future and the city is protecting the health of residents by protecting clean air.

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