On Friday, November 4, the City of Muscatine became the owner of a new automated garbage truck. The truck is the first to be purchased by the city.
The truck is the first of two that will be purchased by the city. According the Solid Waste Manager Laura Liegois, the transfer from manual labor loading to automated loading is safer for the workers.
The truck was budgeted to cost $240,000, while the actual purchase cost came in just under $213,000. The second truck will be purchased at the beginning of the 2016-2017 fiscal year in July of 2016.
The city is implementing the transfer to automation in stages. The first section of the city received their new garbage bins this fall. The second section is scheduled to receive them in the spring of 2016, with the final section concluding the process next fall.
While the trucks require less man power to manage a route, no employees will be losing their positions with the city.
According to Liegois, this is made possible by prior planning by the department. Two full time positions have recently become vacant, and the department did not fill those positions. Instead, a combination of part time and seasonal work has been used in the interim.
At the completion of the program, the city will have 2 automated trucks for weekly route work, and 3 rear loading that will be used for emptying containers, as well as additional assistance with holiday removal and spring clean up week.