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Zero-emission hydrogen powered waste collection truck starts work in the Illawarra

REMONDIS Australia // 17 October 2023


Australia‘s first zero-emission waste collection vehicle is now in commercial operation, serving the communities of Shellharbour and Wollongong in NSW


The vehicle’s Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) technology only results in water vapour emissions


The Heavy Rigid side-loader vehicle has been developed by Hyzon, in partnership with Superior Pak 


REMONDIS Australia has achieved a global breakthrough by introducing one of the world’s first hydrogen powered waste collection trucks to its operations.

After extensive trials, the carbon emission-free truck today participated in its first scheduled residential waste collection in the Illawarra region of New South Wales.

The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) relies on hydrogen which combines with air to generate electricity for motor function. Only water vapour is emitted, and nothing harmful to the environment.

REMONDIS Australia CEO Björn Becker said the truck going into formal operation was historic. 

“We’re demonstrating that carbon-free transport can and does work in industrial settings,” Mr Becker said.

“We’re hopeful that this is the start of a bigger journey whereby companies around the world follow REMONDIS’ lead and turn to fleet decarbonisation.

“This should be likely as economies of scale take effect, making the take-up of such technology the norm and not the exception.

“REMONDIS has gone all-out to deliver this ground-breaking environmental initiative at the earliest possible time and it’s something we’re very proud of.”

REMONDIS NSW South Coast Region Manager Chris Wade said the truck would be fine-tuned through collaboration with its maker, Hyzon Motors, in coming months.

"The ultimate aim is to have the hydrogen truck matching our current diesel trucks in all facets,” Mr Wade said.

“That includes completing about 1,000 bin lifts over about eight hours.

“Trial runs in recent months have been promising, giving us confidence to put the truck into formal operation, serving many of the 300,000 residents in the region.

“Putting the truck through full commercial paces will give us additional information and enable adjustments to be made if necessary.       

“With distinctive markings indicating that it is hydrogen powered, the truck will be deployed across all areas of the Illawarra to give every resident a zero-emission service and a chance to experience this moment of history.”

The recent launch of the Coregas H2 station in Port Kembla, Australia’s first hydrogen refuelling station for heavy vehicles, has been pivotal in enabling the truck to commence operations.

It’s expected the hydrogen truck would be refuelled daily, with each refuelling stop taking about 15 minutes.

Trials have shown the truck can travel approximately 200 kilometres and thereby complete full waste collection runs without refuelling, the same as conventional diesel trucks.   

The truck will result in 25,000 litres of diesel fuel being saved annually – the amount a conventional diesel-powered waste collection truck of this size uses. Up to 75 tonnes of carbon emissions would also be eliminated each year. Heavy-duty transport is known to cause about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.

The truck is also significantly quieter than diesel trucks.

The truck has been developed by Hyzon, in partnership with Superior Pak, one of Australia's leading manufacturers of world class mobile waste collection and compaction equipment, to ensure both body and engine meet the resource recovery industry’s unique operational needs.

Hyzon Motors President of International Operations John Edgley said global industries were watching the Illawarra developments closely.

“Today’s announcement is a ‘real game changer’ for the world’s decarbonisation journey”, Mr Edgley said.

“We’re making it very clear that we’ve got a product now, the first product that’s been designed locally, that’s ready to go into market.

“This step forward will give more confidence that as a trucking sector, we can start transitioning larger fleets in companies that have thousands of vehicles.”

Wollongong City Council and Shellharbour City Council, which REMONDIS contracts to, have been instrumental in supporting and enabling the breakthrough.

“This is a really exciting development and is a proactive step forward in adapting to new technologies that can help reduce our city’s emissions,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

Shellharbour City Mayor Chris Homer said “I applaud REMONDIS and Hyzon for their initiative on this project, which will help us prepare for a low carbon future.”


REMONDIS is one of the world’s leading privately run recycling, service and water companies with around 1,000 business locations in over 30 countries and across three continents. Founded in 1934, this family-run business employs more than 40,000 people and generates a turnover of €12.6 billion (2022). Each year, it processes about 30 million tons of recyclable materials and provides services for local authorities, small and medium-sized businesses and industrial firms as well as for around 30 million people. Operating in many different fields of business, REMONDIS makes an important contribution towards protecting the environment and conserving natural resources – from recovering valuable raw materials from industrial and household waste, to producing high quality recycled raw materials, all the way through to transforming non-recyclable materials into a range of different fuels. Moreover, the company is increasingly helping to advance the switch from fossil fuels to renewables by using biomass as a source of energy. REMONDIS sees itself as an adviser and point of contact for industrial, commercial and retail businesses as well as for local authorities as it helps them to find regional and bespoke solutions. REMONDIS is part of the RETHMANN Group, which includes SARIA, Rhenus and Transdev and operates in over 60 countries. REMONDIS Australia commenced operations in 1982 and now has 900+ employees servicing more than 24,000 customers nationally.

VIDEO // Australia‘s first zero-emission waste collection vehicle is now in commercial operation, serving the communities of Shellharbour and Wollongong. On 17 October 2023 we launched the hydrogen powered waste collection vehicle with our friends and collaborators, and waved the ground-breaking truck off to service the community. Watch it happen in this short (1 minute) video.

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