April 5, 2011 By Nicole Danna
A garbage man’s average routine may seem pretty boring — stop, pick up trash, go, repeat. But the viewpoint of 20-year Miami-Dade Solid Waste Management employee John Lewis is a bit different — Lewis enjoys a quieter ride in his new Autocar Expeditor E3 hybrid garbage truck, which he considers one of many benefits made possible by emerging hybrid technology.
“The design is the same, and [the truck] is a little bit slower,” Lewis said, “but it’s a whole lot quieter and carries a lot more garbage.”
While quietly carting trash from his two routes — covering about 30 miles and spanning more than 1,200 homes — Lewis is helping make “hydraulic hybrid” engineering the future of municipal waste disposal.
Hybrid garbage trucks, like the Autocar E3, that Lewis drives are the latest application for an emerging hydraulic-based technology that its developers say can reduce fuel and maintenance costs for municipalities, while also reducing their carbon footprint.
For government agencies, the biggest attraction might be the promise of cost savings. According to Danny Diaz, fleet manager director of Miami-Dade’s Solid Waste Management Department, the new vehicles are saving so much money that he hopes to convert his fleet to all-hybrid within the next 10 years.
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All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.