Waste contractor Remondis Australia has announced it has put a zero-emission hydrogen powered waste collection truck into commercial use Melbourne this week

The company said it will trial its first zero emission waste collection trucks as part of its commercial operations, with the trial of the hydrogen-powered truck potentially the precursor for a major roll-out of zero-emission heavy vehicles across its’ global network and could be a catalyst for other fleet businesses to follow suit.

The hydrogen fuel cell unit has been developed by Hyzon in Australia and fitted into converted Mercedes Iconic  truck, which has made available to Remondis under an agreement  which will see the truck’s fuel cell powered electric motor using hydrogen stored in  the truck’s specially made tanks. The system combines the hydrogen with air to generate electricity to power the truck with the only emission being water vapour.

The truck is scheduled to be trialled in the Illawarra region of New South Wales from mid-this year, which will be the first time such a truck has been trialled under commercial conditions in Australia.

“Remondis committing to this trial is a watershed moment as countries around the world try to shift to zero emission transport outcomes,”  said Remondis Australia Chairman Björn Becker.

“It is a big step to invest in putting a zero-emission waste collection truck to the test in a commercial setting.

“Although we can’t pre-empt the trial outcomes, we’ve certainly placed a stake in the zero-emission space.

“A best-case scenario could be gradually replacing our global diesel-powered trucks with zero-emission trucks, which could set the scene for other companies to do the same. At the very least we’ll collect unprecedented information about what it takes to get closer to fleet decarbonisation.”

Remondis NSW South Coast region manager, Chris Wade said the goal was to have the zero-emission truck match the capabilities of same-sized diesel-powered trucks.

“Efficiency is critical when it comes to waste collection, so we’ll be paying close attention to how the truck performs compared to our diesel trucks,” Wade said.

Chris Wade added that refuelling will be conducted at the Coregas facility at Port Kembla and is expected to take about 20 minutes.

Hyzon says its heavy-duty garbage truck has been designed to the industry benchmark of a 200-kilometre range and 1,500 bin lifts per working day.

Last year Hyzon announced the development of Australia’s first purpose-built assembly plant in Melbourne’s South-East to manufacture hydrogen-powered trucks, including this one.

Hyzon president of International operations, John Edgley said the trial was an Australian home-grown success story.

“It speaks volumes that Remondis, a global leader in the circular economy, has taken the lead by putting a zero-emission waste collection truck into commercial operation,” Edgley said.

“This particular truck – which we call our Heavy Rigid truck – has been developed in Australia as a global platform. It is adaptable for international markets with a multitude of vehicle use cases such as garbage compactors, tilt trays and flatbed trucks.”

Hyzon said the truck has been developed in partnership with Australian mobile waste collection and compaction equipment manufacturer  Superior Pak.