Houston’s Aged Garbage Fleet Leads to Collection Backlog

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The City of Houston’s severely aged refuse collection fleet has led to overflowing trash bins and significant technician overtime costs, the Houston Chronicle reported.

More than a decade of inadequate purchases means there are 15-year-old trucks on the road, even though the vehicle lifecycle is three to four years. Vehicles are frequently in for repairs, affecting collection schedules.

According to City Council documents, the Solid Waste Management Department will have 152 pieces of equipment being replaced in FY-19. This includes 20 automated collection vehicles arriving by the end of February, another 12 in early summer, and 26 in August, as well as 69 vehicles — heavy trash, yard waste, and depository equipment —  arriving in late summer.

In the meantime, however, the city is considering options to supplement its services. This includes renting five rear loader solid waste trucks for a one-year term for a maximum cost of $500,000 and hiring a private refuse collection agency for specific routes for a one-year period for a maximum cost of $4.5 million, according to City Council documents.

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