HomeNewsAutomated Side Loader Trucks deployed for garbage collection efficiency

Automated Side Loader Trucks deployed for garbage collection efficiency

Project Implementation

What are automated side-loader trucks and how do they operate?

The automated side-loader (ASL) is a simple-to-operate automated sanitation collection truck with a six-foot automated arm reach; a lift capacity of 500 pounds; and an eight to eighteen second roll cart dump cycle. ASLs effectively facilitate the Sanitation Division’s approach toward garbage and recycling collection service routes using a single operator. ASLs are designed to keep noise at a minimum when the truck is idle; are built for lower fuel consumption; and are designed to handle roll carts of any size. To ensure the highest levels of efficiency within the operational, safety and communication functions, ASLs have been retrofitted to accommodate cameras, two-way radios and steering that facilitates navigation through tight turns in cul-de-sacs.

Which areas within the Sanitation Division service area will be affected by this initiative?

This initiative is a citywide implementation, but as of now, will only affect the following neighborhoods: Nafair, Deas Hill, Old North Charleston (in the vicinity of Quarterman Park), Charleston Farms (Attaway to North Rhett), Palmetto Gardens, Oak Leaf Estates, Pepperhill, Plantation Isles, and Wando Woods.


Will semi-automated rear-loader collection trucks still be used?

Yes. While we are introducing ASLs for servicing curbside garbage and recycling, rear-loader trucks will continue to be used for servicing curbside yard trimmings.

When will ASLs be introduced?

While we have been conducting a pilot program throughout our service area, the ASL initiative will be rolled out incrementally with the phased purchase of new equipment, and will be ongoing as more trucks are integrated into the Sanitation Division’s garbage collection fleet.

Does this initiative change residents’ collection day?

Some residents’ collection days may be affected by the implementation of this initiative. This change is geared toward greater operational efficiencies as we more effectively recalibrate our residential collection routes. Residents whose collection days are affected will receive advance notice of this change via various communication channels, including a decal placed on their garbage roll carts.

Curbside preparation and collection procedures

How does this initiative change curbside collection procedures?

ASL use will only apply to garbage collection. Yard trimmings collection procedures will not be affected. Residents will be required to follow the garbage and recycling curbside collection procedures listed below. Further, two public service announcements (quick guide and detailed guide) provide visual demos on new curbside garbage and recycling preparation and collection procedures.

  1. Place garbage in securely in a city provided roll cart
  2. Place roll carts and other items at the curb; roll cart handles must face your home and lid openings must face the street.
  3. Place roll carts and other items as far away as possible from flower beds, mailboxes, or anything that could impede servicing; vehicles should not block the collection truck’s service area.
  4. Roll carts, bulky items and other items placed at the curb should be 3 – 5 feet apart from each other.

How can an additional roll cart be obtained?

All Garbage MUST be placed within a city provided roll cart. Household are allowed to purchase 1 additional roll cart for a one-time fee of $65.  To order an additional roll cart, call 843-745-1026.

Resident, Employee, Environmental and County Benefits

What are the benefits of this new initiative to North Charleston residents?

This move toward ASLs advances our Division’s curbside collection technology so it aligns with the solid waste industry’s nationwide trend and standards. ASLs bring greater servicing efficiency to the curbside garbage and recycling collection process. Through the use of standardized/uniform garbage and recycling containers, curbside servicing is timelier and more efficient.

What are the benefits of this new initiative to Sanitation Division employees?

Based on statistics, solid waste industry positions (and more specifically refuse collectors) are among the top five most dangerous jobs as it pertains to injuries and health risks. ASL use significantly reduces employee liability concerns based on the manual servicing of residents’ garbage and recycling containers. ASL use advances our Division’s quest to invest in our employees’ well-being, and ensure safer and optimum working conditions for field collection teams.

How can residents get answers to questions or share concerns on this initiative?

For questions or concerns, residents can contact North Charleston Public Works at 843-745-1026.