Last week, Waste and Recycling News (WRN) announced the 100th anniversary of the garbage truck.
“The story of the garbage truck is one that truly goes unnoticed,” said Frank Guercio, fleet director for Waste Management of Southern California. “Garbage trucks today are modern miracles on wheels.”
According to WRN, the first garbage truck appeared in 1912. From the mechanical arms to the massive compactors inside, the modern garbage truck has come a long way. Two of the most significant achievements are advanced safety features and the reduction of its environmental impact.
Every Waste Management garbage truck is equipped with a back-up alarm and flashing strobes. Many trucks are also equipped with backup sensors that sound an alarm if something is behind the truck.
“While nothing replaces being vigilant while near a garbage truck, alarms and strobe lights help kids and their parents anticipate the movement of trucks while they are in their neighborhoods," Guercio said.
Waste Management’s compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered trucks contribute to cleaner air and a smaller carbon footprint, including a reduction of up to 90 percent of air particulates and up to 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the trucks run about 50 percent quieter than traditional diesel engines.
“To close the loop, some of our CNG garbage trucks are fueled by methane gas coming from our landfill-to-gas operations,” said Guercio. “Essentially, the ‘gas’ from garbage is powering many of our garbage trucks.”
This bio-fuel, created by the decomposition of organic waste at Waste Management’s Altamont Landfill, is the lowest carbon fuel available.
In Southern California, Waste Management operates a fleet of 900 natural gas fueled garbage trucks. “So if you happen to notice one of our garbage trucks quietly doing its job in your neighborhood,” said Guercio, “Just know that it’s been 100 years in the making.”
ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, based in Houston, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are the largest residential recycler and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more, visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com