Dothan’s automated trash trucks have been enroute for several years now. Studies show these trucks are 30 % faster than older trucks and handle between 800 to 900 bins per route per day.
Assistant Services Manager Ken Rice said, “Even if they're going up and down the street because they only do the right hand side and then they turn around and come back they actually end up being more efficient in time and fuel than the old rear loading temper trucks when you have three personnel.”
The new trucks are safer; the old method was responsible for six to seven injuries a year.
“We've had hardly any injuries on these trucks since we went to them so it really makes it better,” says Charles Mathis with Equipment Operator, Environmental Services.
A new GPS system is making trash collection even more efficient.
A total of fifty trucks are tracked which allows the department to locate and dispatch workers more effectively. New routing assistance software is currently being evaluated that would determine shorter routes, leading to greater efficiency and fuel savings.
Everything that you can think of that would affect how long it would take you to go from a to z in the route, the computer software would actually analyze that and come up with a direction for you to take that would make you the most efficient way,” says Rice.
He will be recommending the new software to city commissioners and hopes it will be approved for implementation in early 2009.
Rice says the department is looking to add more automated trucks in 2010 or 2011.