09/03/04 — City ready to launch new litter vac

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City ready to launch new litter vac

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on September 3, 2004 2:23 PM

Trash lining the city streets should now be a little bit easier to remove, thanks to a new machine bought by the city.

The custom-made machine will vacuum up the litter while the extended boom on the truck aims at the trash.

Demetrius Speight, an employee with the city's General Services department, was the first to handle the new machine. On Wednesday, Speight walked along city streets, using the boom to zero in on trash.

A Virginia company modified the self-propelled leaf vacuum machine to be able to vacuum up litter. It cost the city $14,000.

The machine is attached to an enclosed dump truck. The litter vacuum can reach up to 25 feet from the side of the street to collect litter and trash. A test was first conducted by the General Services Department to see if the new vacuum machine could suck up the trash efficiently and economically.

"The boom was still a little long," said Joseph Sawyer, director of general services. "It was a little difficult to maneuver."

After making a few changes, the city took to the streets Wednesday with the new machine.