New Mexico’s first hybrid truck arrives in LA

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

You may think of a garbage truck as just being a big truck that hauls away all the unwanted, broken and used up items. But the new garbage truck acquired by Los Alamos County this week has something extra to offer the community – a quality no other garbage truck in the state provides.

The Peterbilt Model 320 refuse truck’s shine and polish will probably fade but there are long-term benefits of having a hybrid truck. The Eaton Hydraulic Launch Assist system improves fuel economy, reduces emissions, reduces brake wear and improves in acceleration, according to a press release.

Bert Hall, Rush Truck Centers sales representative, said the hybrid truck will save the county 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year and instead of having to replace brakes twice a year, new brakes will be needed every two to two-and-a-half-years.

So, Hall said, the county will burn significantly less fossil fuels, experience less wear and tear and have bragging rights that it was the first in New Mexico to have a hybrid refuse truck.

Tom Nagawiecki, environmental services specialist, said, “The county will see savings although right now the savings seem imaginary, but as the life of the truck progresses and the savings become realized, (people) will see the positives of a hybrid trash truck or a hybrid vehicle.”

In fact, he said the county should recover the cost of the truck between three to five years.

Other New Mexico cities are taking notice of the hybrid trash truck.

Hall said Albuquerque, Gallup, Las Cruces, Roswell and Santa Fe are all interested in getting the hybrid truck. He added Los Alamos National Laboratory will receive one in three weeks.

Nagawiecki said it feels good to lead the way in this area. “It can hopefully help the citizens realize we are making a concerted effort to become a sustainable community … and this is just one step of many in the future,” he said.

Nagawiecki said the new truck will be used to collect recyclables.