Athens, GA – New garbage trucks could be coming to Athens, and they will also bring the savings. The ACC Solid Waste Department says this is all because the new trucks will only need one operator, and they’re faster and bigger.

Last week the Waste Department gave a proposal to Athens commissioners, asking to spend about 1.9 million dollars on six automated garbage trucks like the one below. They have an automated arm on the side that can reach out about fifteen feet and picks up the cans. They can even pick a can up if it falls.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 8.55.10 PM

And from the screeching coming from the current trucks, it’s safe to say that these trucks have seen better days. Jim Corley, the director at the department, says the trucks are worn out. “Some trucks run 14 hours in a day,” he says.

The only con of the proposal is the potential loss of jobs. The department will have to eliminate eleven positions but Corley says, that doesn’t mean they will have to fire anyone. Ten to fifteen people come and go each year regularly, he says. “We don’t believe that we’re actually going to be terminating anybody, we believe just through attrition that the numbers will work,” he says.

So since the department doesn’t have to pay salaries, you will save money. Corley says they won’t have to do a rate increase on garbage pick up “for a while.” And he says, it will save the department $500,000 a year. All in all Corley says, “the trucks are actually a lot more efficient.”

So for now, flash a smile at your garbage man.

Alexa Knowles, reporting.

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