I just got back in town from my two weeks at VU and today was the first day I got to see Indy’s new trash pickup system in action.
What I was Told:
Indianapolis residents will receive a new 96-gallon trash can. Put all your shit in the trash can and a truck will come along with a big mechanical arm and it’ll pickup your shit and dump it in the dump truck. The can will then be set down neatly in the same spot. This will improve safety and speed for the drivers, as they no longer require Public Works men to stand on the backs of trucks.
What I Just Witnessed:
Indianapolis residents received a 96-gallon trash can. Everyone puts all their shit in that can now. A newerish looking truck drove up to my driveway. Two Hispanic men hopped off the back of the truck, practically fell into my trash can to dig out the shit I threw in there and they threw it in the back of the truck. No arm, no increased safety and it certainly wasn’t faster because they have to go pulling shit out of a giant man-sized can.
So, let’s recap. 800,000 residents received a new trash can. That probably cost us about $10 million ($13 a can). The trucks got painted white and we replaced the two black men on the back of the truck with two Hispanic men. The labor costs maybe saved us, oh, $4 million a year.
That’s about a net loss of about $6 million. The new system is slower, more expensive and less safe because men are now falling all over themselves inside giant shit holes.
That’s good governin’.