Ssshhh! We’ve heard a whisper that the city’s garbage trucks are about to get a whole lot quieter. The annoying pre-dawn chorus of banging and clanging could soon be a thing of the past — because New York City is trialing electric garbage trucks, with the first in the fleet taking to the streets of Brooklyn.

“This is an environmental justice issue and a quality-of-life issue,” Joshua Goodman, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Sanitation told Fast Company. He explained that moving to electric heavy equipment is a key way for the city to reduce emissions. Electric garbage trucks, like other electric vehicles, can help reduce air pollution that’s linked to thousands of premature deaths in the city each year. The technology could also help the city work toward its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. By 2040, the city is planning to electrify its entire fleet.

For the pilot, the city is testing the new LR Electric from Mack, seeing how it performs on a typical 12-hour route through 20-25 miles of busy streets. Although the vehicles cost more than their diesel equivalents, they’re cheaper to operate.

“The electricity required to ‘fuel’ the truck is cheaper than the equivalent amount of diesel, and we also anticipate savings from reduced maintenance needs, including no engine oil changes and no after-treatment maintenance,” Jonathan Randall, senior vice president for sales and commercial operations in North America from Mack Trucks told Fast Company.

Meanwhile, NYPD is testing out a robotic dog — could this be the beginning of the end of annoying barking and poop-covered sidewalks? That remains to be seen, but with a price tag of $74,500 it may be some time before DigiDog replaces our living and breathing furry friends. It weighs about 70 pounds and is able to run about three and a half miles per hour and can climb stairs. It’s covered with cameras and lights to get a real-time look at things. You can see DigiDog in action here.

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