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Morning Sun
  • Letters to the Editor - Real trash problem is damage

  • The real Pittsburg “trash problem” is the unnecessary, costly and substantially avoidable damage to city streets done by far too many garbage trucks.

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  • The real Pittsburg “trash problem” is the unnecessary, costly and substantially avoidable damage to city streets done by far too many garbage trucks.
    It may surprise taxpayers that road damage by vehicles is not a simple “double the weight, double the damage” proposition. Road damage from vehicle weight is a “fourth power” phenomenon, according to 60 years of data from federal and state highway departments.
    Thus doubling the weight of a vehicle doesn’t just double the road damage, it produces a “fourth power” amount of damage, or 16 (sixteen)-times as much damage as the original vehicle.
    The average loaded passenger car weighs about 3,600 (thirty six hundred) pounds. The average small, rear-load residential garbage truck, half loaded, weighs more than 25,000 (twenty five thousand) pounds. The 25,000-pound truck does as much damage to the road as more than 2,300 (yes, two thousand, three hundred) automobiles, using government estimates.
    Some municipal planners figure one road trip by a garbage truck damages a road as much as 1,000 (one thousand) cars making the same trip.
    Any effort by city government to provide taxpayers the best trash pickup value demands use of only one garbage truck on any trash pickup route. That approach can reduce Pittsburg road damage by the equivalent of an astonishing 150,000 to over 300,000 car trips each year. That’s damage worth preventing, and money worth saving.
    The City of Pittsburg should immediately contract one residential trash pickup provider per week per route to preserve our streets, minimize taxpayer street repair and maintenance costs, and lower resident trash pickup costs.
    — Dick Thompson, Pittsburg

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