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Posted on: July 6, 2023

Gallatin Receives Grant to Purchase Two Trash Trucks


GALLATIN – The City of Gallatin has received nearly $397K from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to purchase two trash trucks. The money originates from the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement, where municipalities across the nation are using the money to update older heavy vehicles with low-emission replacements.  

“Replacing these vehicles at 25% of the cost represents a tremendous saving for the city,” said Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown. “Together with fuel economy and cleaner air, the city and our residents are clearly benefitting from this grant opportunity.”

Ordered in June 2021, the new trash trucks are automated side loaders, which replace the same kind of vehicles that were in service. The grantor pays 75% and the city 25% with a combined value of $530,000.

In order to qualify for the grant funding, two of Gallatin’s oldest trash trucks will be taken out of service. A trash truck’s lifespan is typically ten years, and both of Gallatin’s exchange vehicles are more than 16 years old. To ensure these trucks are not resold and put back into service, the City must cut a three inch hole in the engine block and sever the frame rails to satisfy the terms of the grant. Additionally the City must track mileage and fuel consumption of the new vehicles for five years to calculate the savings in fuel and reductions in emissions.

In 2015, Volkswagen (VW) publicly admitted that it had secretly and deliberately installed a defeat device—software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators—in approximately 590,000 motor vehicles containing 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel engines. The United States Department of Justice filed a complaint against VW, alleging that the company had violated the Clean Air Act resulting in a $14.9 Billion settlement. Gallatin has been granted funds from the $2.9 Billion Environmental Mitigation Trust, which will be used to mitigate the environmental effects of the excess nitrogen oxide emissions from the affected vehicles.

In 2022, Gallatin Public Works’ Environmental Services Division reported serving 13,981 customers with 17,271 trash cans picked up each week. More than fifteen thousand tons of trash was landfilled, which is a 2.3% increase from the prior year.

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