(October 14, 2003) -- Cleaning up just got cleaner in LB. City Hall has replaced eight garbage trucks with new state-of-the-art models that run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) instead of diesel...and seven more trucks are on the way.
We spotted this state of the art model near LBReport.com's ELB world headquarters...but you could see them virtually anywhere in town.
What's state of the art in the sanitation biz? The city's Arthur Cox says drivers now enjoy air seats, a dust-filtering air conditioning system and adjustable arm rests and joysticks to operate the robotic arm that hoists your dumpster and empties it over the top of the hopper.
(We learned firsthand the old arms were worn out when one flipped our entire dumpster into the hopper.)
There's more. The new trucks are equipped with a high-tech vehicle locator that uses global positioning satellites to make sure trucks are where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there.
In July 2002, the City Council authorized purchasing up to 32 new trash trucks with dual fuel engines (LNG + diesel) to replace conventional units that reached the end of their useful life. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) requires public fleet operators with at least 15 trash trucks to replace the old ones with alternate fuel models.
LB Environmental Services Bureau Manager James Kuhl says City Hall wanted dual-fuel LNG/diesel engines so the trucks could roll even if there was a problem getting a shipment of LNG, but AQMD insisted on LNG only...and gave LB a $1 million grant to help with the purchase. Cox says each truck costs about $200,000.
And here's what the city's new LNG-powered Elgin Pelican street sweepers look like.
In August 2002, the Council approved buying up to 20 Elgin Pelican dedicated (LNG) powered street sweepers. This one popped up in ELB, although they're also likely to show up elsewhere.
Cox says LB may be one of the first cities to use LNG sweepers. The quieter, cleaner street sweepers cost about $150,000 each. The city has 13 now, with 7 more to hit the streets soon.
Last year, the Council OK'd spending up to $6.59 million for the trucks and up to $2.92 million for the sweepers, which was included in the FY 03 (just ended) budget.
Kuhl says City Hall will be monitoring the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the new machines.