Robotic Garbage Trucks


Berlin signed a contract this week with Waste Away, Inc for a new fleet of robotic garbage trucks to start collecting trash from city homes. This trend, first started by rubbish clearance services in Bristol, has picked up in popularity around the world. Don’t be surprised if they end up in your city.

Operated by a joystick (fun!), hydraulic arm trash trucks have been tried out in other cities, including some in the U.S.  They require bigger trash cans and allow for just one sanitation worker to man an entire route.  I guess the days of one guy driving the truck and another one or two riding on the back and hopping off to collect the trash are over.  While sanitation is hard, unenviable work, I hope this new technology doesn\’t reduce the need for sanitation workers.  Our poor economy needs jobs!

Side note: in scanning the internets for images of these new trucks, I came across this gem of a children\’s book: I Stink by Kate and Jim McMullan.  It\’s the first-person tale of a garbage truck and companion reader to I\’m Dirty, the first-person tale of a front-end loader.  Check out this totally endearing review over at A Wrung Sponge.  I\’m adding both to my list of trash books for kids.

5 Responses to “Robotic Garbage Trucks”

  1. Victor Bernhardtz Says:

    On the negative side, trash collecting suddenly becomes a very lonley job.. By the way, does anyone know if Paris still employ special dog poo collectors, roaming the city with dog poo-sucker devices?

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Yes, solo = sad. And GOOD QUESTION about Parisian poo collection. A quick google for “crottes de chien” led me to this doggie blog post describing the Anti-Incivility Brigade of Paris, which sounds a lot like the Garbage Spies of Stockholm. Inspectors working for the mayor’s office drive around looking for quality of life infractions, specializing in unscooped doggie doo. Check out the video clip for what happens when they catch someone not picking up after her pouch. The French do outrage better than anyone!

    Update: the pooper-scooper vacuum machines are called “caninettes”. My vocab grows. I smell a future post.

  3. Ken Says:

    They use these in the seattle area.

    You get a better deal if you use their garbage can with a lid on a hinge. We have a old can with normal lid so it is smaller for similar cost.

    We get garbage once a month too.

  4. everydaytrash Says:

    Thanks, Ken. Adorable profile icon you have there. Are you saying it costs more to use your own trash can? How much more?


  5. dena Says:

    THANK YOU!!! i’ve been searching for this book for a year now. i used to read it to my son 4 or more years ago and couldn’t remember the title. i did some complicated google search and found this. super helpful!

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