Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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cheaper garbage collection

a way to reduce the time it takes to collect garbage
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Major cotributors to the basic cost of garbage disposal are the time to stop and start between pick ups and the manual labor to move the containers to the truck. My suggestion keeps the vehicle in motion at all times and removes the need for the manual labor. The vehicle would pick up the container on the move with a device that matches the forward velocity of the vehicle (but in the opposite direction) thereby reducing the shock to the container. This could be a belt or track. Like a tank the portion of the track on the ground is at zero relative velocity to the ground. The next acceleration is vertical so the contents will stay in place. The container then disconnects from the track (like a seat on a high speed chair lift at a ski area) and is dumped into the vehicle. The container is then stored until its needed to replace a collected container. Then the arm and the container reattach to the belt or track immediately in front of the arm thats about to retrieve a container. The replacement of the container occurs at the same moment as collection but displaced in the direction of vehicle travel one container width. So as one container with trash is picked up another empty one is put in its place. much of this would be automated and only require the driver to swing close to the area with the garbage cans and turn the system off if someone is in the way.

A reasonable speed could be maintained in this manner and the labor costs would be reduced. One truck could conservatively handle five times the area with one worker in an airconditioned cab.

Now why is this idea halfbaked --- simple the Unions would never allow it to happen....grin

eller, Nov 26 2001

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       Not bad...Would the containers have to be precisely placed? What happens if someone forgets to put out their trash, and there's a gap?   

       I haven't seen a high-speed ski lift; I'm in flat and hot Florida. How does the seat detach?
StarChaser, Nov 27 2001
  

       That, Peter, is baked. Check the canals by my house.
AfroAssault, Nov 27 2001
  

       All local councils where I live use standardised garbage bins that allow them to be picked up and emptied using a hydraulic arm mounted on the truck. This process still involves starting and stopping, but only for about three seconds per house (I know, i watched it this morning).   

       Beside the driver, only one extra worker is present for when the arm can't reach the bin, though most of the time they usually just sit in the cab.
mrkillboy, Nov 27 2001
  

       [mrkillboy] We have something similar here. The one thing that would put me off this idea is that I have to pay for my city approved garbage can. If I kept getting a new one each week (which is what would happen with this idea) I'd want some way to make sure it was in good shape.   

       I can see some joker cutting out the bottom of a garbage can (or some variation thereof) and secretly placing it in the rotation.
phoenix, Nov 27 2001
  

       I would like to see Flocking Road Cones™ technology applied to dustbins (or "garbage cans"). The dustbins outside my house would normally be dormant, but as they hear the rubbish truck coming up the road, they would wake up and flock into the road behind the truck, screaming "Me! Me!". The lucky dustbin which gets itself into position behind the rubbish truck is plucked from the throng by the pincers on the back of the truck, emptied, and then released to return to its house.
Like [eller]'s idea, there is no need for the rubish truck to stop.
hippo, Nov 27 2001
  

       Is that a rude finger gesture you're making Rods?
hippo, Nov 27 2001
  
      
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