Two New Rochelle garbage trucks are in service despite expired New York State inspection stickers. Some drivers are refusing to drive the trucks for feat of being ticketed. Under New York State law the operator of the vehicle, not the owner, is charged for operating a vehicle without a valid inspection sticker.
Garbage truck 55 and 56 both have expired inspection stickers.
They have not been inspected because the vehicles would not pass inspection, sources say. There are a number of other DPW vehicles that have valid inspection stickers but would not pass inspection either, according to these same sources.
This is hardly a unique occurrence in New Rochelle. This spring Talk of the Sound reported on an illegal garbage truck operated by the New Rochelle Board of Education: New Rochelle School District Failed to Register Red Garbage Truck For Five Years
Talk of the Sound has learned that a garbage truck, the only red garbage truck in the City or School District fleet, was never registered by the School District and was driven for years without proper registration, license plates or insurance.
The registration and plates on the vehicle were registered to the Village of Pelham Manor, NY. Sources tell Talk of the Sound that the truck was purchased five years ago from Pelham Manor. For reasons that are unclear the transfer of ownership of the truck was never done.
Sanitation drivers are being told that based on an understanding with the City of New Rochelle, New Rochelle police will not ticket them for operating the illegal vehicles. The drivers are not satisfied with that solution pointing out they still have to leave the city limits to carry loads to waste transfer centers, the vehicle are unsafe and if there is an accident there may be significant legal consequences for the driver and the City of New Rochelle.
The photo above was taken Saturday. Sanitation workers have been working overtime on Saturdays for well over a month. Routes have once again been cut from 9 to 8. Meanwhile, overtime has been capped for the New Rochelle Fire Department with the result that Ladder 12 is often out of service including the night of the Christmas Tree fire on Lincoln Avenue.
Mayor Noam Bramson's hybrid garbage truck, affectionately known as the BramsonMobile, has never delivered on promised results - costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and delivering almost zero improvement in fuel efficiency. The statement on the City web site, from more than two years ago, is a forward looking, imagined scenario which never came into being and is now woefully out-of-date and largely inaccurate.
In September 2009, the City of New Rochelle inaugurated its first hybrid diesel-electric sanitation truck. It picks up refuse in the north and south ends of the City, collects paper recycling citywide, and will also be used for seasonal snow removal.
Unlike other diesel-electric hybrid systems which feature an in-line (series) technology, the plug-in parallel hybrid system adopted by the City of New Rochelle allows for the vehicle to work off electric power on demand as an alternative to the usual diesel power. The modularity of its design enables installation into existing vehicles as well as into new vehicles. The benefits of a plug-in operation include significant fuel savings and a 50% reduction in emissions of particulates and hydrocarbons. Additionally, the vehicle will run more quietly and require less maintenance.
The vehicle has routinely been out of service, mostly operates without the hybrid electrical system engaged when is in service and is now "dead" with a completely blown engine, according to sources familiar with the vehicle.
In June, 2010 the City Council discussed the Hybrid Vehicle in what turned out to be one of DPW Commissioner Jeff Coleman's appearances before the City Council. Coleman left soon after the Westchester County District Attorney began investigating his department resulting in a 66-Count fraud indictment for the DPW Fleet Manager.
In the discussion the City Manager and DPW Commissioner acknowledge they have just delivered a written report to the Council on the hybrid garbage truck the week before but neither can remember the cost of the vehicle or the resulting "savings" claimed in the report. Even though the DPW Fleet is on the agenda for a discussion of the Mayor's ICLEI-inspired GreeNR plan, Coleman has no information about the only "green" garbage truck in the DPW fleet.
The week before the City Council meeting on June 15, 2010 Talk of the Sound reported that at a cost of $150,000 to retro-fit the garbage truck with a hybrid electric motor, the payback period for the vehicle would be about 120 years.
…if the truck is getting between 2.1 and 2.3 MPG and going about 36 miles in a day the truck uses about 16 gallons per day. In a typical month there are about 22 work days. If the truck is magically never taken out of service it will consume a maximum of about 350 gallons a month. If EMD is correct and there is a 10% increase in fuel efficiency the converted truck saves about 35 gallons a month.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that diesel fuel is selling for about $3.00 per gallon, so that is about $105 a month in savings.
Over the course of a year that comes out to $1,260 on fuel cost savings.
Cost to Convert Vehicle/Years Until Break-Even
if $50,000 = 40 years.
if $100,000 = 80 years.
if $150,000 = 120 years.
if $200,000 = 160 years.
The report for the company that did the work falsely claims "The vehicle has been used in continuous service for over 9 months with no interruptions other than scheduled maintenance and inspection of the Hybrid system."
In fact, the vehicle was then and has been ever since routinely out of service due to mechanical failure and problems with the electrical system.