An electric truck will soon be servicing the Dunedin campus at the University of Otago – saving about 125 litres of diesel a day – as part of its sustainability partnership with Waste Management.

The new truck, which will collect cardboard and other recycling, is powered 100% by electricity instead of diesel. It will be the first fully electric, rear load operating commercial waste truck in Dunedin.

This fantastic initiative developed through the partnership aligns with a strategic imperative to reduce by 50% our waste to landfill by 2022, says University of Otago Property Services Division Director Dean Macaulay.

Waste Management South Island General Manager Gareth James says Waste Management works closely with the University on sustainability initiatives.

This includes Waste Management employing a dedicated waste minimisation coordinator to work on campus and put in place processes to limit waste and increase recycling.

“Our relationship with the university is a real partnership. It’s not just about collecting and disposing of waste. We are actively looking at ways to minimise the university’s waste and reduce its carbon footprint.

“The new electric collections truck is part of that,” he says.

From left: Regional Manager Otago Greg Nel, Operations Supervisor Fleet Allen Nesbit, University of Otago Head of Sustainability Ray O'Brien, University of Otago Senior Manager Property Operations Stuart Casey, Waste Minimisation Coordinator Andrina Grigg, University of Otago Recycling and Waste Manager Graham Musgrave, South Island General Manager Gareth James.

University of Otago Head of Sustainability Ray O’Brien sees this as “another great example of the progress we can make when we commit to working on sustainability with partners in our supply chain”.

Mr James says the rear load EV joins Waste Management’s growing fleet of electric vehicles. The company currently has 11 EV trucks, with 7 more in the process of being converted, as well as 100 electric cars and light vehicles.

This truck was converted to electric at Waste Management’s EV Innovation Hub in Auckland.