A fleet of new hi-tech refuse lorries will significantly cut down on carbon emissions, council bosses claim.
Durham County Council has taken delivery of 17 trucks with "intelligent" lifting gear which can detect how full a rubbish bin is.
The lifting gear determines the exact power needed to lift an individual bin, resulting in a 42% fuel saving over a year, the authority claims.
The move will also cut carbon emissions by 37,400 tonnes a year, it is claimed.
Brian Stephens, the council's neighbourhoods spokesman, said: "The bin lift does not require the vehicle engine to work harder when it is operating, which adds up to a quicker, more fuel-efficient system.
"This vehicle makes for an effective, efficient, quieter and reduced emission collection fleet.
"That is a benefit not just for us but for householders and the environment."
The new vehicles form part a fleet of more than 80 operated by the county council.