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On City of Lawrence begins using new automated trash truck

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jrlii 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If the pickup arm is controled by a joystick, how is that automated?

The headline suggested (to computer geek me, anyway) that the pick up arm would be equipted with vision and ranging devices to autonomously pick up the trash bins and the driver would only have to get close enough for the mechanism to reach.

What we have here is not automation, but mechanization, with machinery reducing the head-count of workers, not automatically doing the work.

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tanaumaga 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This just in. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among sanitation workers on the rise.......seven year lifespan?...what is the lifespan of the trucks now.? thanks

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gatekeeper 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Hmmm, curious what they will do in N. Lawrence. Some areas have alleys and the article says these trucks can't handle narrow alleys. Other areas have no alley and they put their carts out front. Will they just use the old trucks in N. Lawrence or make us put our carts in front of the house? I've liked having my trash cart in the alley, away from the house and not in plain view.

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jafs 11 months, 2 weeks ago

A couple of other thoughts about environmental issues. If the new trucks are even less fuel efficient than the current ones, that's another variable (and they may be, if they're more automated).

And, when the city implements the recycling program, and sends the trucks around more times for that, that will undoubtedly use more gas and produce more emissions.

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bearded_gnome 11 months, 2 weeks ago

so when those robotic arms rebel, just imagine the mess they can make! oh, it's coming, resistentialism, they're going to rebel. joy stick? riiight.

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bearded_gnome 11 months, 2 weeks ago

with the decrease of sanitation workers on the trucks I'd just like to point out that the lawrence sanitation workers have been really cool dudes. very good attitude and always cheerful, especially given what they're doing!

thanks for what yo've been doing.

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Mollie New Leaf 11 months, 2 weeks ago

So I just watched the video and I have two concerns.

First, how is the driver ensuring that the arm isn't picking up anything other than the cart? He didn't seem to be looking in the video. You just know some curious kid is going to hop a ride.

Second, how are we to account for on-street parking? Cars are always parked in front of my house and there's not three feet of clearance between my mailbox and where the cars park. Or should I just start putting my trash cart in the middle of the road?

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melott 11 months, 2 weeks ago

And, this will further reduce the number of jobs available for people with no skills. It's much better for them to be on welfare, or stealing to survive.

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fmrl 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Welcome to the 21st Century, Lawrence. This will save some on-the-job injuries.

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Keith Richards 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately it doesn't amaze me how many people here either failed to read the article before posting nonsensical thoughts, or failed to understand anything that was written by Chad.

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woodscolt 11 months, 2 weeks ago

So the hidden cost of the carts is the trucks we have to buy. The carts and the truck make perfect sense for automating the trash pick up but I hope we don't wind up with the most expensive trash pick up around.

The trade off of jobs for trucks. How much good did that really do. Pink slips, unemployment, more pollution and new trucks. Pretty much sums it up.

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stranger_na_strangeland 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Most cities in America have used this for decades. With the local trash mafias keeping out legitimate companies it's good to see Lawrence finally getting into this century.

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jafs 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I'd very much like to the see the "efficiencies that prove out" the effect of using the trucks twice as much.

These vehicles are tremendously inefficient, getting about 5 mpg. Running them twice around town will double the use of gas and emissions from them. What environmental savings does this program have that will cancel that out?

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btsflk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The wonders of technology! Soon the truck won't need a driver. There are already driverless cars in existence. More jobs eliminated.

There are already too few jobs for those who want and need them.

And to think I used to scoff at the idea of Singularity.

It's real, it's here, get used to it.

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swampyankee 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The new system is great they did not pick up my trash or my neighbors.

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Kyle Miller 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Just another prime example of making something that much easier for someone to do. This is also another prime example of how LAZY this society is becoming anymore. Just another prime example of people having to do less and less MANUAL labor! In this day and age if it can't be done by computer, cellphone, etc people don't want a thing to do with it. Its quite sad actually, but it will only get worse as years go on with the way today's youth is brought up with video games, etc.

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workinghard 11 months, 2 weeks ago

They say they are using it in the Prairie Park area. I drive that area in the mornings, along E25th Terrace. A lot of city trash cans are overfilled and have extra bags of trash setting around it. Some have extra store bought trash cans in addition to the city ones. When I come by later I never see them tagged for having too much trash like they did in older East Lawrence.

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notorious_agenda 11 months, 2 weeks ago

They pick up the majority of trash with the automated truck and a separate truck spots and grabs extra bags. One traditional crew can then cover a much larger space with only a fraction of the trash due to the use of carts and fees. If you want to leave an extra bag in the Johnson county area you have to buy some awesome stickers that do not stick to plastic and when the trash guys don't find your sticker they leave the bag.

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bearded_gnome 11 months, 2 weeks ago

robotic arm?

beware of the coming resistentialism, when the electronic servants all turn against their masters! [sci/fi theory, somewhat treated as a joke, but who knows.]

be afraid, be very afraid.

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Reid Hollander 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The number of alarmist over a trash truck is astounding. I have lived in Colorado for 3 years where they use these. Mailboxes aren't being taken out, they pick up whatever you put out even if it doesn't fit, and the carts last forever. Apparently Lawrence thinks this is some sort of experimental technology and not what most every other community in America uses.

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Jayhawker07 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Interesting! Are these trucks green and energy efficient? Seems like they will be doing alot of backtracking if they can only do one side at a time. Twice the amount of fuel + maintenance +++. I like the idea, but I am not sold as a taxpayer(not that I had a choice. I know, go vote. Which I do but that is not my point. And you know as well as I do how the vote thing works). How many folks are they laying of to cover the additonal expense? Chad, could you give us some specifics on all of this? I like the idea but not sure I like it unless I have more info. I know it is a done deal, but it does not seem like a good Lawrence greentown deal.

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catfishturkeyhunter 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What about the guys who used to manually pick up the trash? Let me guess, you parked them on the curb and loaded them up with your fancy truck and hauled them away..

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ljreader 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe the robotic arm can remove the brainiacs that keep finding new ways to shake us down.

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otto 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There will be a lot of stuff getting smoked with that thing! Mailboxes, bicycles, fenders.

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buffalo63 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Also wonder what the life span is on the carts that are lifted by the arm. We have a spot with the neighbor that, because of traffic, is safer for the men to handle both carts, but probably won't have the three foot clearance though. Truck will have to stop in the heavy traffic part of the street corner to have a "clear spot".

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Floyd Craig 11 months, 2 weeks ago

yeah one did our trash today n everytime they dupmd a trash container they had to stop n pick up the trash from the ground n I hear they had other trucks following the new trucks cause the new ones cant get to places the new ones cant to me the city made a bad choice to use them and spent all that money on them the guys who works the trash trucks ( the old ones ) do a great job and yes they spent money on more trash carts what idiots they are tghey could have give the guys more then a 1 percent rasie huh itd been cheaper

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Currahee 11 months, 2 weeks ago

So this is why they wanted everyone to use trash carts...

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tweetysvoice 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Will they not be able to pick up any larger trash that doesn't fit in the can and has to be set beside the can? i.e. a large box that won't fold down to fit... I assume this will be an issue even if it's the recycling truck, as they will be the same thing. Is the driver going to have to run out and grab the bags set by the side of trash cans that I still see around town?

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Keith Richards 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What is the city doing with the trucks that are being replaced?

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