An East Baton Rouge anti-litter activist says the new garbage trucks Republic Services plans under its new city-parish contract are a “home run” for Baton Rouge. Photographer Marie Constantin, a founding member of the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition, says Republic’s top-loaded trucks contribute to the litter problem as trash flies out the back. Part of the coalition’s mission is explaining the connection between litter and flood risk, which is exacerbated when litter ends up in drains and watersheds.
She expects litter will be less of a problem with the new trucks. With new drop-frame side loaded trucks, the customer’s cart is protected from the wind as the automated arm lifts the cart into the well, and the truck is sealed so wind doesn’t blow trash out when the truck hits the road.
Constantin says the next challenge will be convincing the public not to overfill their carts and to keep them closed. “Even with these better trucks, people should bag trash headed for the landfill,” she says, noting that the trash often ends up in local watersheds.