City shaves 41% off monthly fuel expense
A new piece of technology has been in use by city crews for only about a month, but is already paying big dividends according to Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton and Community Services Department Director Pat Mitchell.
In late August, the Cairo City Council authorized the purchase of a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system developed by Clemson, S.C., based PinPoint GeoTech, LLC.
This new system is a GPS based, touch screen computer that is easily mounted on the dashboard of city sanitation vehicles.
Of all city employees, it is sanitation truck drivers who ride down each and every city street once a week.
With this new system, the city is taking advantage of their observations as they cruise the entire city each week picking up residential garbage.
The GPS devices allow drivers to spot, categorize, mark and record debris piles and potholes needing attention.
Previously, city crews patrolled the city in search of debris or refuse that needed to be collected and disposed of.
Now those crews know exactly where trash and refuse is and can go straight to the site to collect it.
Director Mitchell gave Cairo city councilmen a progress report Monday night.
During the month of September, thanks to the new PinPoint system, the Community Services Department has been able to reduce fuel expense by 41 percent, in addition to reduced wear and tear on department vehicles.
Crew members who have additional time have been retasked for other duties including mowing public property and rights-of-way.
“We cut down one truck to (now) using only two, and we cut our mileage from an average of 505 miles in August to 299 in September,” Mitchell said.
During September, the garbage truck drivers logged the following data collections: big pot holes – 18; small pot holes – 14; leaves – 909; limbs – 2,291; mixed debris – 838; garbage cans not out – 435; white goods – 20; replaced garbage can – 13; replaced garbage can lid – 1; and replaced garbage can wheels – 6.
“We are still working the kinks out, but we haven’t received any complaints on trash collection,” Mitchell told councilmen this week.
The community services department head says his employees are enjoying using the new system and he believes its use can be expanded in the near future.
City Manager Addleton commented, “The PinPoint system has met our expectations and proved very effective. I definitely think we’ve gotten a good payback on our investment.”
The total cost of the system was $15,876 and the ongoing cost of the system is a software assurance fee of $2,688 annually. The city purchased two of the data collection units and the long-term goal is for other departments such as the police department to utilize the units to identify pot holes, water leaks, code enforcement issues and burned out streetlights.
“There is a lot of potential to do our jobs more efficiently using this technology,”Addleton said.