$3.12 Million PA Driving Forward Grant to Electrify Erie Refuse Collection Trucks

The City of Erie Department of Public Works, Property, and Parks is excited to announce the award of $3.12 million from the Department of Environmental Protection as part of the PA Driving Forward Heavy Duty Electric Truck Program. This funding will be used by the City of Erie to purchase five (5) Heavy-Duty Electric refuse and recycling compactor trucks, electric utility service upgrades, programmatic software, electric charging stations, and associated infrastructure. 

City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember stated, “We are extremely grateful to the DEP for this funding that will not only help Erie replace existing refuse collection trucks but will save taxpayers money and help us promote and protect the environment in our beautiful city. I’d like to thank State Representatives Pat Harkins and Robert Merski for their role in helping to secure this important funding.”  

A zero-emissions electric garbage truck parked outside of the Bureau of Streets on March 22, 2023.

The City of Erie Public Works Department, led by Charles R. Zysk, Director, began working on this grant opportunity in December of 2022. Throughout 2023, the City of Erie compiled data, conducted detailed route analysis, worked with local utilities, scoped the electric infrastructure, and road-tested a Heavy-Duty Electric truck.  

AJ Antolik, who was Assistant Director of Public Works at the time of the grant submission, oversaw this initiative. Antolik worked with the PA DEP, City Sustainability Coordinator Sarah Peelman, and the late City of Erie Grant Writer, Ms. (Abby) Abigail Skinner, to showcase how an electric fleet conversion would benefit the City of Erie and its residents. All three City staff members worked diligently to showcase the potential impact of clean energy on Erie neighborhoods in environmental justice zones. The grant narrative provided a detailed summary on new efficiencies, budgeting projections, and long-term growth potential. Antolik and Skinner coordinated with various national suppliers of infrastructure to compose an all-encompassing grant proposal. 

This grant was an extremely competitive application as the City of Erie competed against multiple other municipalities, entities, and organizations throughout the Commonwealth. The City of Erie would also like to thank Mack Trucks for their application assistance. 

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