Garbage in, garbage out, this is what it’s all about.

I took a walk early in the AM and saw garbage trucks at work. I was trying not to look at my phone at all, so my mind went insane. 

First, I have never seen a side arm in action. I was so fascinated. I wondered who on earth invented it. Turns out the first grabbing arm was invented in the 50’s by a couple of random brothers, Philip and Howard Aldredge.

The side arm, which is what I saw, seems to have been invented in 1969 or 1970 and was first introduced in Scottsdale Arizona. That freaking garbage truck was able to collect 300 gallon containers in 30s cycles without the driver exiting the cab at all. I like these because the smell is way less horrific than the garbage trucks I’m used to. 

I also noticed the truck had to keep backing up to take turns. That got me thinking about an efficient route and wondering what the most efficient way might be through a neighborhood. Then I was thinking about how big a span any given truck might service. That led me to look at route planning. Turns out some people make their money in this space. Which is nuts to me, but also makes so much sense. 

I came across a concept that when trying to learn more about planning routes. Part of the route plan actually includes capacity estimates. You have all the points you need to hit, but also need to take into account capacity. I don’t know how they deal with hitting capacity – if they need to go back to home base and hit the road again or if their shifts are just to capacity or what. 

What’s worse than hot garbage? Walking around on a day that’s supposed to be 100 degrees made me think of how horrible life can be when something goes a little wrong. I’m really glad these guys are working, I’m really glad technology is making it easier for people to do it.

Garbage in, garbage out, this is what it's all about. 1

I also was struck by the fact that once, in my youth, I took a test for what I should be when I grow up and it was a trash collector. Maybe it was right. 

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