MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The City of Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department has innovative technology to help meet growing demands in the waste industry.
“We started the journey with a new technology program called Routeware, so we now have SmartTrucks with a tablet inside the truck and a camera on the arm of the truck,” said Solid Waste Director Russell Gossett. “This technology allows the department to see when carts are not out. They can hit a button to record that the cart is not out on the curb along with the address and the time of day the truck was on location.”
Overloaded carts are also identified. Under the Solid Waste ordinance, lids should be closed.
“We have grace in not citing overloaded carts, but if it is extremely overloaded or garbage overflowing on the ground, the system captures the violation and documents it,” added Gossett. “A photo captures the overloaded cart and is delivered to the Solid Waste Department office.”
When citizens call to complain that their trash was not collected, the department has a method to explain the circumstances, and e-mail a photo and message to the resident.
“Honestly, one of the most common excuses is from parents who rely on their children to put the trash out,” said Gossett.
Even with SmartTrucks, some routes require employees to handle the carts. Commercial routes have a driver and a Solid Waste technician to help collect trash in tight areas or downtown businesses in alley ways.
“I do see a need for the older backloading trucks, including when newer trucks require maintenance. That allows us to go back to the traditional method of operating routes,” said Gossett. “These trucks will always be around for that purpose. They have a tipper, so technicians roll the cart to the truck and the truck does the rest of the work from there.”
Russell Gossett was appointed as the new director of Solid Waste for the City of Murfreesboro in October 2020. The new Solid Waste ordinance took effect July 1, 2021.
The City has charged a recurring monthly fee of $7.50 for weekly residential garbage collection and a recurring bi-weekly fee of $30.00 for commercial garbage collection. The billing of service fees has been included in the monthly water bills since July 1, 2019.
For more information on City of Murfreesboro Solid Waste, visit https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/solidwaste.
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