***Excerpt from a full featured article in Recycling Product News Magazine***
In Alaska, curbside recycling is still in its infancy. In early 2008, consultants reported to the municipality of Anchorage that it was the largest city in the United States without curbside recycling. Shortly thereafter, Solid Waste Services, the municipality’s recycling and refuse department, began pioneering some of the first automated collection of recyclables in the state. Anchorage residents seeking to recycle have historically driven to recycling drop-off stations. Now resident demand for recycling has driven the city to provide convenient curbside collection of recyclables. Solid Waste Services responded by purchasing three Curbtender automated side loaders (ASLs) from Wayne Engineering, which are capable of collecting residential recycling and refuse, even in the city’s restricted alleyways. Commingled recycling pickup is currently provided by the municipality of Anchorage to 3,500 households. This will expand to approximately 13,000 households as the program is phased-in over the next year to year and a half. Meanwhile, private hauler Alaska Waste collects commingled recyclables from about 5,200 opt-in Anchorage subscribers. In addition to providing new recycling programs in Anchorage, the municipality’s Solid Waste Services collects residential trash daily from about 13,000 households. Most of the remainder is picked up by Alaska Waste.
When it came down to purchasing the right automated solution for recycling and refuse collections, the municipality of Anchorage purchased three Wayne Engineering Curbtender fully-automated side loaders which began operation in October 2008. The Curbtender was not only the price leader in Anchorage’s search, but also provided the reduced risk of hitting fences and overhead wires in the city’s challenging alleyways that was needed. Anchorage also recognized that any ASL arm would be subject to significant wear and tear during use. The Curbtender lift arm was rated highly for its strong and wear-resilient arm assembly. The outer arm assembly has a million-cycle rated 2.5-inch bore cylinder that easily lifts 2,000-pound loads, even with a seven-foot reach. The five by seven-inch inner arm glides on steel rollers riding on T1 wear strips, and rollers are mounted on eccentric shafts that can be easily adjusted to compensate for normal wear. Additionally, cushioned, dual-ported cylinder action smoothes hydraulic movements and yields fewer jolts and jars to the truck and operator. Curbtenders are available with standard, belt or universal gripper options and are interchangeable with a simple pull-pin design. The Curbtenders in Anchorage were mounted on a Peterbilt chassis, which according to Vanderwood was a good choice for working smoothly in slippery Alaska conditions.
“With the tires and rear suspension, and the type of transmission and the gearing in the rear end that we’ve specified,” Vanderwood states, “this chassis really makes a big difference.” The Curbtender also allows simultaneous loading and packing, ideal for close-together stops. The four cubic yard hopper is one of the largest and strongest made, and units are capable of growing with the city’s collection services, to handle up to 300-gallon carts. According to Vanderwood, “We wanted to make sure the equipment we had gave us the option of moving into the 300-gallon cart business. I didn’t want to find out two or three years down the road that our equipment couldn’t handle these bigger carts. The Wayne Curbtender has been working well in our environment, and we expect many years of service to come.” On the frontier of curbside recycling in Alaska, Anchorage’s future is clearly automated collection. Automation has already added efficiencies to Alaska Waste and the municipality’s Solid Waste Services routes. With the new automated side loaders, the municipality alone now collects both recycling and refuse in the time it used to take to complete refuse-only routes. According to Vanderwood, the municipality was collecting up to 15,000 pounds of recyclables a day with the Curbtenders within the first month. “That’s equal to half of our previous daily poundage of refuse collections,” says Vanderwood, “When you become more efficient with your time using automated trucks, you can now use that saved time to offer other services. That’s what we did here with curbside recycling.”
To read the full article, click here: Wayne Curbtender Automating Alaska