Dallas will add global positioning satellite tracking to all 400 sanitation vehicles it has on the road daily in a $700,000 contract approved this week by the Dallas City Council.
Several Councilmembers voted against the deal over concerns echoed by the sanitation drivers union and a rejected GPS bidder. The city has been testing GPS tracking on 70 sanitation trucks for some time.
Sanitation Director Mary Nix says expanding it to the entire fleet will improve efficiency.
"This system will pay for itself in the first, second and third years," said Nix. "In fact we expect to get some additional savings in year two and three."
The city uses GPS mapping to help construct routes and to locate the closest truck for citizens reporting missed pick ups.
Local 5 of The Service Employees International Union says the money would have been better spent clearing thousands of overgrown Dallas alleys that delay garbage trucks.
"There's no proof that it's going to work," said union spokesperson Elisa Gonzalez. "
Rejected bidder Clarence Lindsey claims the winning bidder is unreliable.
Lindsey told the city council this week, "You're going to spend millions of dollars to try and correct this."
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But Nix says the city has investigated the winning company thoroughly, it is fit for the job and safeguards in the contract protect the city in the event of problems.
Here's a link to the city council briefing on the issue.