It sounds like an oxymoron. Of course, garbage trucks aren’t the cleanest things – they’re full of garbage. They wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice for a cab to the airport, a ride to the mall and no one asks for one when they turn 16. That’s where garbage goes; it’s supposed to be dirty.
But as the world has gotten greener, garbage trucks have certainly begun to follow suit. Mary O’Brien, chief marketing officer for Advanced Disposal, says that steps are being taken to improve the environment in local communities through Advanced Disposals initiatives. O’Brien says that these steps “are being taken to better manage a heavy-duty truck fleet that is responsible for maintaining clean and healthy communities.”
According to their Greening of the fleet initiative guide, Advanced Disposal has reduced the amount of hydraulic oil used on our trucks by stretching the life of the oil by 200 percent. Instead of going by the scheduled date on a calendar to change their oil, which was still good, Advanced Disposal began doing analytical testing of all hydraulic oil, giving an accurate representation of when the oil needs to be replaced.
The company is also focusing on tire management as another way to reduce their carbon footprint. “Tire Pressure Monitoring Technology uses an electronic pressure sensor that immediately alerts drivers when tire pressure dips below recommended levels,” according the Greening of the fleet statement. “By keeping tire pressure at the correct levels, roll resistance is lessoned, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and economy.”
According to O’Brien, Advanced Disposal is very focused on their green efforts. “Our first and most important goal is maintaining a clean and healthy environment by safely and efficiently collecting, transporting, processing and disposing of the solid waste generated by residents and businesses alike,” she says. “This job requires the hard work and dedication of many Advanced Disposal and other solid waste industry employees who are committed to leaving the world a little cleaner than they found it.”
Advanced Disposal has 240 operating collection vehicles. All of which have engines equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters that remove the soot of heavy particles from the engines exhaust. Currently, 24 percent of Advanced Disposal’s total fleet is considered Environmental Protection Agency 2007 Certified Clean Diesel Engines, and that number is rising quickly.
According to their Greening of the fleet information sheet, Advanced Disposal has one EPA 2010 collection truck currently operating with 30 units being built right now. By April, all new Advanced Disposal collection vehicles will be EPA 2010 compliant.
Advanced Disposal is moving towards green in other ways as well. Once the trash is in those green trucks, it is then transported to a landfill, rather than a dump. Unlike dumps, which are basically just big holes where garbage is buried, landfills offer some environmental protection and are monitored and maintained. There is even a way to convert landfill gas into energy. Advanced Disposal also emphasizes the importance of recycling on their website and in their marketing materials.
As one of the contracted haulers for Orange County, it’s comforting to know that Advanced Disposal is placing such importance on the green movement. “Along with our employees, our equipment is built and managed to withstand the rigors and hardships of holding, packing and transporting hundreds of tons of waste and recyclables a day to keep the County’s streets and neighborhoods clean,” O’Brien says.
If filthy garbage trucks can clean up their act and go green for the sake of the environment, it’s safe to say anyone can.
Article By Katelyn Schmidt