The town of Jonesborough recently purchased three refurbished sanitation vehicles that officials say will increase the division’s efficiency all for about $30,000 less than the cost of a brand-new side-loading truck.
The division’s fleet now consists of a front-loading truck, a side-loading truck and a recycling truck that were purchased for about $230,000. Additionally, the town also swapped out its 127 side-loading Dumpsters for 127 front-loading Dumpsters.
Fleet maintenance manager Gary Lykins — who was instrumental in acquiring the new vehicles — said the new trucks get better gas mileage, which will ultimately help keep costs down for Jonesborough residents.
Last month, the town raised garbage fees for residents from $11.50 per month to $13.50 per month. If a resident opts to join the town’s recycling program at no cost, the $2 increase is waived.
Since recycled items don’t factor into the amount of material taken to the landfill and help keep operation costs down, operations manager Craig Ford said he hoped more people join the program.
“We already had several residents in the recycling program, but the point was to get more people involved,” he said.
About 35 percent of the town’s residents participate in the recycling program, and Lykins said that number has already started to increase since the fee increase last month.
Because of the additional recycling, the town purchased an Isuzu four-cylinder pickup truck that’s designed specifically to handle recyclables.
In addition to purchasing the recycling truck, a refurbished side-loading unit with 400 miles on it was added to the fleet.
Since the chassis of the side-loading truck was still in good condition, Lykins said rather than purchase a brand-new truck, they had the vehicle repaired and then had the old side-loading body replaced with a new front-loading body, which can be operated by one person, allowing the division to eliminate a vacant position.
“The decision to refurbish the side-loader into a front-loader came from basically looking around at what’s out there. We could’ve bought a front-loader, but every one we were looking at were extremely high miles,” Lykins said.
Both Ford and Lykins praised town officials and Mayor Kelly Wolfe for their efforts in getting the best bang for the buck in the purchase of the new fleet.
“The current mayor we have in Jonesborough demands efficiency, which I think is great. He wants us to be able to say we’re doing everything we can do to operate as efficiently as we can on your tax dollar,” Ford said.
To enroll in the town’s recycling program, call 753-1030.