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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Automation Benefits

Reference Number: MTAS-586
Reviewed Date: 03/22/2023

One city in Tennessee converted to a system using a front-loading compactor truck and four Cushman dump bed satellite vehicles. Using the compactor truck and the Cushman satellite vehicles, weekly residential collection is completed in three days, using 112 employee hours. In contrast, the former conventional method took five days and 120 employee hours. The compactor truck is used 24 hours versus 40 hours previously; thus freeing additional truck time for commercial collection. This maximizes the efficient use of equipment resources and avoids the possible necessity of purchasing an additional truck and the expense of additional employee hours. There is a collateral benefit of not having a large collection truck using the edge of a light-duty pavement system in residential neighborhoods.

Automation Also Works for Recycling
Recyclables often are collected in trucks specially designed to handle lighter weight, bulky materials. Where recyclables are mixed together, bagged, and set out at the curb, all the recyclables are hauled together in one chamber of the vehicle. Where residents separate their recyclables into different categories such as glass, plastic, and metal, the pick-up vehicle has multiple compartments into which the different materials are directed.