So I wanted to see what the cost of waste removal was so I went on the City of Rocky River, Ohio's website to see what they spent on garbage removal for the year, turns out that's not even close to the cities top expenditure. All these cities act like that's the straw that breaks the camels back, but it's second from the bottom on there chart of expenditures. Meaning it's the second cheapest thing they do.
In 2019 the city spent 4.17% of the total budget on refuse and recycling which equates to $1.2 million dollars. In 2018 they spent $1.7 million dollars in 2018 now that amount was according to there chart the same 4.17%. It appears this year the general budget was a lot smaller, $29-$30million roughly and the year before the budget was almost $40mil go figure.
I was going through the city records they bought a couple refuse scooters which are the little dumper scooters that go up the driveway and get the garbage those are about $32,000 when comparably equipped.
But the last refuse packer they bought was in 2017 from Best Equipment $154,782.00 bucks, it seems like every couple of years they replace a truck or two, but it's not every year, Best Equipment sells the cities brand, Rocky River likes there Leach packers always has. However they do have 1 Loadmaster in the fleet now and I want to get a picture of it, I think it'll be out and running tomorrow. Best also sells Loadmaster and the Loadmaster is my guess the 2017 unit they bought, that's just a guess, it's a Loadmaster Excell I can tell because the body is all smooth walls and rounded it's not ribbed, I think they bought the 25 yard body, not really sure. I don't think it has tag axles on it. I know the city tends to like to buy tag axles on there 31 yard trucks, but the 25 yarders they seem to not purchase with the optional tag axles.
Loadmaster Excel this would be a pretty common unit purchased by a municipality for house to house garbage collection. Brand new about $154K that's about the going rate, you can jazz it up with lights and cart tippers and stuff, but that's about what they cost.
Typical suburb of 19-32,000 people would have 6-9 of these units. You need probably 3 of them to do garbage collection, one of them to do recyclables and one of them to do yard waste. That would give you room for a spare unit, you always need an extra truck and probably an additional unit to ad an extra yard waste route on. I could see during spring and fall, probably summer as well 1 truck for yard waste may not be enough although you can pack yard waste pretty heavy.
I know my city they said they would need $1million bucks to start up the in house program again that's budgeting for all the equipment they would need and a spare truck so 6-7 trucks they thing they would have to buy. I'm sure the two they retained are no longer viable for day to day service. The one is a single axle 20 yarder I don't know what make or model or year it is. The other this a Sterling, it's probably a good decade old at least and I think it is a Loadmaster Packerbody, I think it maybe the 400 for some strange Reason Fairview Park, Ohio for as weak as the service department is, now a days the city when they do buy stuff every thing is very heavy, there fleet of dump trucks for leaf collection and snow plowing is all specked out 10-20 ton stuff very heavy duty. Which would make sense that back when they did collect garbage they went and bought the heaviest most sever duty packer loadmaster makes. The 400
This is the demolition unit, I think it's marketed specifically to demolition contractors in New York City and other places, but you could use it for municipal garbage collection no doubt, it would be good on bulk garbage day. City of Temple Terrace, Florida uses this truck an older version of it for it's garbage collection.
Look at the packer blade on this thing it's this huge giant metal block.
So I think, that the original thesis which was what Robin Nagle said holds true and that's a lot of cities and peoples don't really want to deal with the garbage in general, it's an operational headache easier to sub it out same way Con-Edison management just subs things out.
Picking Up by Robin Lang all about Department of Sanitation New York City
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So I woke up early this morning and went out and did some walking I wanted to see what the garbage situation was. After Christmas is often times a heavy time for garbage pick up. All the routes are very heavy.
Here we see a lone garbage scooter for the city of Rocky River, Ohio collecting from house to house.
Pile of Holiday Garbage
"Bulk" waste garbage dump truck, what they do is bigger items get picked up by Truck #5 couldn't get a better picture, but it's a 2007 Peterbuilt dump truck with a lift gate and they pick up all the big items, construction debris, home gym equipment, old furniture with this unit that way there not beating the living tar out of the packer trucks.
Not the best picture, but garbage carts dumping into "mother ship" packing truck. The bigger garbage trucks do very little house to house work almost none. The little garbage scooters run from house to house and up the streets and driveways collecting garbage, recyclables and sometimes consolidating yard waste.
The recyclables are put into big piles called recyclable flats
Then another garbage truck goes around and collects all the recyclables.
Another full size truck runs and gets the yard waste.
I saw the yard waste truck, but I couldn't find him, he's probably still out sometimes that's a 1 man route, however, the weather was warm and there was a lot of yard waste out, I saw lots of brown bags enough to make a yard waste route for sure.
Truck #17 this truck was parked on a dead end street waiting for the satellite trucks to fill up and collect all the garbage. This is I think as 25 yard Leach 2RIII equipped with tag axle. This morning I think the city had (2) mother ship units this truck is considered a mother ship unit they had (2) mother ship units collecting garbage, (1) full size truck this
one actually on recyclables
I did catch what I think is the cities only Loadmaster unit today it was also collecting garbage.
See it's parked in front of the house with the big pile of garbage and a refuse cart is emptying into it. The two service men are working together to empty the major garbage flat. That was the second truck they had on garbage collection. From what I can tell they had (2) mother ship units on garbage, (1) on recycle and (1) on yard waste, they have more gear then 4 trucks, and there may have very well been another packer truck on the other side that I didn't see. I know they have probably 5-6 scooters orbiting around. One of the scooters drives up and down the street to make sure none of the houses were missed.
That International there is the one they use for Yardwaste well they have (2) yard waste trucks that International and they have a 12-13 year old Sterling the only Sterling I've know the city to ever buy with a Ribbed Body so you know it's older I think its a Leach 2RII and they use that truck for yard waste too, that truck at this time maybe the oldest packer truck in the fleet.
The yard truck might even still be out on it's route, but well you all know how yard waste is collected.
So it's a heavy garbage day although by 9:00am the city had most of the municipal garbage can waste pretty much collected the City of Rocky River is very fast and effective at collecting garbage by 11:00am most of the actual garbage can garbage and collected and bulk waste as well. Recyclables and Yard waste it takes till about noon but by 1pm they pretty much have the day done.
Yes southern end of Merrick they have a landfill there. I believe it's closed for dumping, just a transfer station now. The local trucks and public come dump and then the semi's haul out to Jersey every so often.
Found some cool pictures today on the Internet City of Rocky River Service Department. They took a lot of pictures during leaf clean up and they showed off some of there new gear.
I think they got that little 20 yarder maybe a couple years ago, I have not seen it around very much. The signle axles I know they use them on garbage day, but I am not totally sure for what. They seem to like them for leaf pick up though. They don't seem to use the little trucks for actual garbage collection. Mostly leaves and yard waste.
This one here I think is the oldest truck in the fleet they bought it when I was in high school in 2004-2005 sometime around there. I think they use it for yard waste and now it was used during the leaf season. Usually they seem to use there oldest truck for leaves and yard waste and kind of relegate it to spare status.
To my knowledge this is the only Sterling truck the city ever owned and bought you can tell it's older because modern day refuse trucks for the most part don't have ribbed bodies any more, they are all smooth wall.
This is new I've not known of Rocky River to use the all in one pull behind leaf vac trailer. This is a new unit, probably new this year I've not seen it before.
There fairly popular around here with other cities, but this is the first time I've seen this city use this one.
Older (now) 20 yard Leach 2RII City of Rocky River, Ohio Service Department refuse packer truck on leaf collection.
So were having a pretty boring winter here in Cleveland, it's because I bought a brand new snow blower this year. That's why LOL! It's like insurance against snow lol. So no major snow storm operations going on. Ha-ha.
So I was trying to figure out what happened to the city I live in and how did the service department (there version of the DSNY) go from pretty good to absolute rubbish and probably one of the weakest in the county. The population of the city peaked in 1970 at 21,000 ever since then it has been on a steady decline. 2018 estimate was 16,284 so down quite a bit.
From what I could gather in 2010 the city hit some major road bumps, they ended up with a budget deficit of 1.5 million dollars. Keep in mind the entire cities budget for the entire year is 11million bucks, of which 80% of that goes to payroll so almost 9million dollars out of 11million is payroll.
It's not 100% clear when the city actually shut down the in house garbage. I think sometime around 2009, but they didn't go fully automated until 2012. Republic Services I think forced them to go automated. I know Kimble and Rumpkee the other 2 up here let cities decide if they want automated or manual pick up and if the city decides they want manual pick up it's like way more expensive. If you want to do manual pick up it almost doesn't even bother to farm it out because these companies do not want to do manual pick up at all there really not interested in that.
I was watching prior state of the city addresses the oldest one I could find was the year 2012. That was the year the city switched to automated collection. The mayor made it sound like, in 2012 they were using Republic to do the garbage, but were on a manual contract, but around that time Republic started forcing all there municipal customers to switch over to automated. Around that year a lot of cities started switching over. City of Cleveland switched over too, however it took them sometime.
Anyhow, the city in 2010 lost a bunch of tax revenue and there were funds from the state and some other taxes that went away and they lost some money.
They also built a big huge fancy rec center in 2008 which they bond issued out and it was a multi million dollar project and they hired some hack family from Tennessee to do the swimming pool and they botched it all the hell up and the city council president was fuming mad and it ended up delaying the opening of the rec center by 6 months and they had to comp everyone's membership for 6 months while they hired an actual construction concrete company to tear out and put in a new pool.
Now tell me if this sounds familiar.
So the city is in a huge deficit and 2010, 2011 and 2012 were pretty bad years. Although I think things are bad right now there just not telling us how bad, I think the city has a lot of debt on the books. I would imagine the bond for that rec center is going to come due and the city probably doesn't have the money to pay those bonds.
Anyhow, 2012 the city when workers retired they did not hire any new ones.
Then they started gutting and they went straight for the service department and they just gutted the hell out of that department. They had a traffic light/ signal maintainer retire, they had a mechanic retire and they had a garbage man/general service worker retire. None of those people were replaced and the city service department went down to 21 people which is what it is at today.
The equipment expenditures are sparse last year the really didn't buy anything for the city service department nothing of note anyhow.
St. Angela Merici Visit to City Hall
The city service department the garage they work out of looks like 1 step above a junk yard. I get the city is broke and they can't have new trucks and stuff, but I don't understand why they just have a bunch of junk and debris lying around.
What I don't totally get is why all the city trucks are all beat to hell looking and they always have been, even in the year 2000 Fairview was still doing there own rubbish pick up in house and I remember the garbage trucks they had were Ford L8000 units I think 25 yard probably 1989-1990 year models and they were just beat looking and I don't if our guys beat everything to hell, or what they do, but I know even in 2000 the city was whining they had signs painted on the garbage trucks basically saying this truck costs $159,000 to replace and is 12 years old and has a million hours on the clock and you all need to pass a tax levy.
St. Angela Merici Visit to City Hall
Everything they have is just totally beat. They did buy a new dump truck in 2014 I think and another new 10 ton dump truck a year later, but that's the last major purchase.
They basically gutted that department and said do more with less. Oh we gave you less that's to much you get nothing instead, but we hired a company to do the garbage and then turned around and charged the residents for the garbage company we hired, so the irony was the city couldn't afford to do garbage in house or out of house either way they could no long afford it. They said in 2012 garbage collection fee was $11.00 a month now it's almost $15.00 a month.
They said and I don't know what this means it was costing them $1 million dollars a year in to do rubbish collection in 2011. When they switched to automated the price dropped to like $700,000-$800,000 something like that. Well 7 years later the price has crept up and now it's almost at $900,000 and it's only going to go up, but the cities cost to do it in house hasn't really changed at all from that $1 million dollar mark. I know what these companies do they bid low to get the business the cities go for it and then they gradually raise the price slowly 4-5% every year and after about 7-8 years the price is almost at equilibrium. $900,000 to a million isn't that far apart and every year 4-5% rate increase. It's funny to see these service and city development managers get real uncomfortable when this comes up. Most city managers around here will do anything to keep garbage from coming back in house, but what's funny is they seem to get scared about switching vendors at the same time if they pick a company they don't seem to like to switch very much. Switching is a huge deal when you switch vendors for like garbage it's a major pain for everyone. However people are starting to complain now, because are service is pretty limited and getting kind of expensive and I think maybe in the next couple years they probably will have to do something.
However, see what happened was, NASA had a major installation in the city on the south side and in 2012 NASA closed that site down and all that tax revenue walked away and that put the city into a bad spot. I drive by the NASA building it's all dark been that way for 7 years and the former mayor and current mayor hasn't been able to do anything about it. We got a new mayor Sunday, personally I don't think much of the guy I think he's just a shill and I didn't vote for him, but yeah it's funny how things go certainly I think around 2008 or so there was a big step backwards for a lot of things.
That's really unfortunate. What I've realized is that a good majority, if not all civil servants don't give a rats behind about the equipment they use/break/throw out. The mentality is "it's not mine, who cares, the company can afford another one.*. Except in your case they can't.
They beat the hell out of our Vactors, they are supposed to get greased and maintained every week but it gets done once a year on PM. Oil change, once a year. The roads tear them up, guys constantly running the blower at Max power when you don't need it, and guys just driving them like ######## because 'its not mine'. Not to mention Vactor said they aren't meant to be a 24/7 truck like most of ours are. They are supposed to run 8-16 hours at a clip with a break and maintenance in between. Our Dept is an emergency based 24 hour operation with plenty of routine work on all three shifts. We wanted to purchase more trucks but the bean counters said no.
A new 2017-2019 Vactor (or Vac-Con as we went with another vendor this time) built to our specs on the Freightliner SD109 chassis (I forget if it's FD or SD or FT or something) is $450k. And we already had a lot of issues with it like half the spotlights don't work, when using the remote and you hit the button to disable suction, it honks the horn instead (lol). And because they made most of the water system out of plastic, it springs all sorts of leaks in the winter. They went that route because the standard aluminum tanks cracked in the winter.
That, was due to a few things, A) being left outside in below freezing temps with full tanks. The older trucks in our fleet had just basic recirculation, using an electric motor and pump to keep the water moving. Even plugged into shore power didn't help, so a lot of the guys just left the trucks idling outside. The rodder pump was mounted externally so that froze too. Our newer trucks from 2012-14 had the rodder inside a heated cabinet fed with heat exchangers supplied by engine coolant, and the water tanks had heat exchangers built into them as well to keep the water temps at 40-55 degrees. That eliminated a lot of the problems.
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