The sound echoes through your neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. It's the garbage pickup crew coming to haul away your trash. But now a new garbage truck promises to not only cut down on the noise, but also cut down on the spending.
"I've been in the garbage business for 20 something years," said Willis Holley with the Panama City Solid Waste division. "I never thought they would make a hybrid garbage truck, or a garbage truck that would get good gas mileage."
That day has come, and Willis Holley says Panama City is one of a handful nationwide to get on board.
"We hope it works out, we hope we can save the city money," Holley said.
The 350 thousand dollar truck works on a hybrid system that uses hydraulics.
"Every time you put on the brakes, you're charging the system," said Mel Cowen, also with the solid waste division. "It has an aggravated brake system."
"It does take some getting used to, it powers up a little different," Holley said.
Almost a month into using it, the city is already seeing the advantages over the older trucks, including lower emissions and less maintenance.
"Our average truck we do a break job every year," Cowen said. "This one could be 3 to 4 years before we do a break job on it."
Most importantly, lower fuel costs. 50% percent lower. With trash redirected to the Steelfield landfill while the Bay County incinerator is in repair, it can make a difference.
"A garbage truck gets one to two miles to the gallon," Holley said. "Now we're looking at great gas mileage 3 to 4 miles to the gallon."
With the life expectancy of this vehicle two years longer than it's older counterpart, it's a trash truck they can treasure for years to come.
This truck costs about $70,000 more than the older trucks. They only have one right now, but they say if the savings they are projecting work out you may see more of these on the streets in the near future.