Coming Soon: Robots Will Be Picking Up Trash In Bangor
Okay, I should clarify a tiny bit. Before you start thinking that the Terminator or Commander Data or R2D2 is coming to pick up your trash, it's actually going to be robot arms attached to the garbage trucks. When I lived in southern Maine, this was pretty standard. Trucks would pull up, the boom would lower, and grab the bin.
As part of a new deal that city reached with Casella Waste, starting next summer, trash will be picked up in trucks just like this. It's all part of the new trash and recycling program the city has been undertaking. Just this month it started with the combined trash and recycling, which will ultimately save the city even more money.
They're supposed to save a bundle on the new recycling program, and the savings in labor cost by having the robot arms pick up the trash will ultimately total almost $200,000 according the BDN.
The city will also be providing new special 96 gallon waste bins for curbside pickup. So you won't even need to provide that. There's even a contingency in place for a smaller bin for older folks who may not be able to move a 96 gallon barrel around.
The BDN article doesn't talk about whether the savings in labor will come in the form of layoffs or not. When I lived further south, no jobs were lost in the process. Just moved to different positions within the public works. Let's hope for the same up here.
All in all, for the most part, the city stresses that the impact on the average citizen will be barely noticeable. Your trash day will be the same, the only difference will be who, or in this case what, will be putting it in the truck. And hey... why not let the robots do the dirty work?!
At least until they become sentient and try to take over the world. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.