Idaho Falls Considers Upgrading to Automated Garbage Trucks

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Updated: 1/03 6:55 pm

When it comes to trash collection, eastern Idaho’s largest
city still does things the old fashioned way. There are no color-coordinated
trash bins or no automated trucks, in the city of Idaho Falls. But that could change
soon.

“These guys take pride in their work and they pick up
everything,” said Tony Arehart, Sanitation Superintendent for the City of Idaho
Falls. “My foreman says they pick everything up but married women.”

It’s a smelly occupation where the conditions can be
dangerous.  For less than $0.30 a day, homeowners
can have all of their trash removed. The job may be labor intensive but the
drivers say they really enjoy it.

“It’s fun to get out every day and there’s no need to go to
the gym,” said Chris Felisio “The hours you get. You get off early, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM, it’s
not bad.”

However this historic piece of Americana could be on its way
to the landfill. The city of Idaho Falls is looking into the possibility of
joining just about every other city in the area by adding automated trucks. It’s
still early in the process but the plan would be to replace the older trucks
with new ones as needed.

“We worry about laying off people,” said Arehart. “That’s
why I hope if we do do this, we do this through attrition and don’t lay the
people off.”

This isn’t the first time this has been considered but it is
picking up steam. We should have a better idea on this in the next couple of
months.



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