Cleaning Up Feature

Cleaning up

Since I have been cycling to work everyday during Winter for the last two seasons, I have been able to observe the sanitation workers collecting and accumulating garbage at this dump just before my office. Overtime, I realised there are multiple vehicles (& implement) that are used for collecting garbage right from picking it up from ones doors to taking it to the final recycling or waste disposal unit. I found it really interesting how the vehicles (& implement) go on increasing in size depending on at what stage of the whole process it is used. Also, I feel, most of these vehicles have been upgraded to more sophisticated ones with custom designed hydraulic/mechanical tilting mechanisms for easy transferring of garbage from one vehicle to another and so on.

I was glad to see that there are different kinds of vehicles for different spaces. I don’t remember seeing vehicles #3 and #4 till recently. #5 was there but not with the hydraulic contraption that picks and drops the huge containers around the dumping sites. The huge containers themselves have gone through a lot of change. They seem to have a mechanism that compresses the garbage dumped in it to optimise space to accommodate more garbage before it can be locked and taken away.

I hope these new machines and the Central Government’s campaign on cleanliness across the nation has made the lives and work of the sanitation workers slightly easier even though that will also depend on whether they are getting better salaries and respect in the society.

Following are the five vehicles (& implement) used for collecting garbage in the sequence I have observed them being used.

Cleaning Up 1


The wheelbarrow is usually used to pick up garbage from narrow lanes.

Cleaning Up 2


This one is a modification of the cycle rickshaw. This one itself is an upgrade from the earlier wooden carrier. The carrier now is made of thick plastic.

Cleaning Up 3


This one is like a hybrid between a cycle rickshaw and motorised electric rickshaw.

Cleaning Up 4


This one is a small modified van which carries more and is faster than the rest of the vehicles listed above.

Cleaning Up 5


The quintessential garbage truck has also got a makeover with a modular dump and a hydraulic system to haul it on and off wherever required.