It's a quiet morning in your neighborhood, all is routine. Eat breakfast, comb your hair, brush your teeth,
take out the garbage. But then the routine turns into one of the most disgusting scenes imaginable, delivered right there
to your doorstep: A burning garbage truck. It's more common than you might think.
It happened yesterday in Sparks,
Nevada. Neighbors recalled the heat and smoke as the massive truck and its ton of garbage burned and caught another car on
fire, a line of hydrolic fluid fire rolled down the street gutter and into a storm drain. It took a large contingent of emergency
workers to get the situation under control. KOLO TV sent a reporter to sniff out the story.
Yes, it's terrible and it is a lot more common than you might think. Jut in the month of November alone
there have been 8 reported garbage truck fires throughout the United States. Fire Safety Sales out of Bloomington, Ill says
on its web page that garbage truck fires are “extremely common.” How common? “On average, there are seven refuse truck
fires each day.”
Fire Pro Sales says they have a product that can extinguish the fires. It may be something
municipalities want to explore, because the way garbage truck fires are handled right now is pretty alarming. The burning
garbage is usually dumped out in a huge random pile wherever the garbage truck happens to be at the time, weather it is the
middle of a busy street, a business park or neighborhood. Yeah, that gets a lot of attention. When it gets attention, people
pull out their camera phones. In the past 5 years, 16 burning garbage truck have been caught on video and posted to YouTube.
On the videos you can hear amazed people as they watch the smoking and flaming trash. They can hardly contain their excitement.
Yesterday's garbage truck fire in Sparks, Nevada was the second in the Reno area over the past year. YouTube user
"disneyr" posted this video in August.
It is shot out the front window of a car driving on an un-named road. There is the pleasant sound of
a car radio and a man’s voice can be heard undramatically narrating: “fire, fire, fire. There is a ha ha, garbage
truck, caught on fire.” His camera phone rings and the camera pans down to the BMW steering wheel, then back up to the
closed lanes of traffic and the firefighters. A large plume of brownish smoke can be seen rising out of the green garbage
truck. “Ooooo, stinky too. Good job firefighters. The communities favorite civil servants.”
In another incident, office workers wandered away from their desks on February 19, 2012 to watch another garbage truck fire out the window of
their upper-story building.
“Holy crap," the person with the camera says. "I have never
seen that before. Yeah, that's going to suck. Dump your load. I am recording it. That is freaking awsome! This is going on
YouTube. Oh, it is going to be in the middle of the street and it is going to go up in flames and he pulls away. Now if he
gets out with a fire extinguisher I am going to laugh my ass off... poor guy. His day just got a lot longer . . . at least
its Friday. God the clean up on this. Ugh!"
Most of the videos posted on YouTube are shot out on the street.
YouTube user “SkylarWallace” posted one in November 2011. He said he was on his way to “Planet Sub” when the burning garbage grabbed his attention. He
was really excited.
“Then I would really get 100-thousand hits! So I guess the backs of those (trucks) are
fire proof? I mean this is awsome! It is taking off, look at it go. I gotta film the whole thing. Hey! I know that guy. That
is the fire chief in the white shirt. It's awsome. The guy got back in it. Can he dump it? Oh, he is going to dump it. Oh!
Yes! This is the best video I have ever filmed. Look at that! Dude there is a lot of stuff. If all that catches, this is going
to go from awsome to scary. Woah! Oh. There it is Oh!”
Another woman nearby says, “That is a bad day
at work right there! Ha ha ha.”
Despite hoping he would get 100,000 hits, his video has 2,769 views. But
he is not far off. Some of these mobile trash fires are getting tens of thousands of views. One in December 2010 shows a fire spreading in a neighborhood in McQueeney, TX. It has 64, 000 views.
Here is another with 45,000 views
And, if you have't had your fill of burning garbage deliveries, here are a couple more
While it is interesting for the bystanders, it truly is a bad day at work for the drivers, firefighters
and clean up crews involved. One video actually shows shows a firefighter climbing inside the burning garbage truck. The comments posted by the public on these
videos show that garbage truck fires are a sensitive topic too. One man posted: We own a garbage business and if that was
our truck, we would have dumped the trash on the road. The fine and the clean up would cost less than replacing the
truck. Another wrote: “Maybe one of u pencil pushers should have called the Fire Dept instead of watching.”
Like it or not, the public is intrigued with the mystique of garbage trucks (two videos of garbage
trucks simply operating have more than 11 million views on YouTube). The additional spectacle and prevalence of garbage truck
fires could become an increasing public relations problem for garbage companies.
As I have explored this topic
this morning a few ideas have occured to me that garbage companies might want to explore. A heat sensor in the refuse compartment
connected to an alarm in the cab could quickly alert drivers to a fire. Maybe the trucks already have that. I don't know.
They also might want to explore the "First Responder Stat-X Grenade" by Fire Safety Sales. Here is the video of how it works. The driver could throw it in the refuse compartment giving them enough time to get out of a neighborhood
or off the street and to a safe place. One can is $150, a small price to pay when neighborhoods, lives and expensive trash
trucks are in danger. For now, insurance companies are likely eating the cost when burning garbage strikes. Maybe if garbage
trucks have a Stat-X grenade on board the companies could get an insurance discount? Doesn't hurt to ask.
you on the road!
Twitter: Transporter @kyplaskon
Reno, Nevada (IRIS)--The
first federal world petrolium report in more than a decade was released this year and it shows two major shifts that could
impact our personal and geopolitical futures. There is nearly 1 trillion feet of recoverable natural gas than previously thought
in the world and where that natural gas is located could result in geopolitical shifts.
“By looking at the amount of oil and gas this is exactly the kind of information
for long and medium term planning,” said USGS Director Marsha McNutt in a brief press conference call. She added that
governments will use the information to look at “what will be the infrastructural needs and environmental impacts.”
In terms of gas, look for that development impact in the
arctic and East Africa according to McNutt.
real money is still in oil and the new report has big news in that arena too. Previous report from 2000 showed the largest
recoverable oil reserves in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. But the new report show the largest oil reserves
are closer to home and in poor countries. Sub-Saharan Africa; Caribbean and South American regions are both ranked higher
than the Middle East and Soviet Union.
in Africa and South America that were previously considered resource poor, could be seen as resource rich. But
much of the oil sits in a tough-to-get place “Off-shore areas, many (countries) don’t have the capabilities to
do the drilling,” said Chris Schenk, USGS Research Geologist
You can view the reports