For Philadelphia, recognized as the City of Murals, there was an obvious solution when it was searching for a way to draw attention to its recycling efforts: Murals on the city's collection vehicles. Scott McGrath, acting recycling coordinator for the city, says that the concept evolved out of discussions between the city's streets commission and the mural arts program. “The design combines an environmental and outdoor feel with recycling as a centerpiece,” he says.
The orange rear loader and compactor truck has a body manufactured by Heil and a Freightliner chassis. “The idea was to catch people's eye and get them excited about recycling,” McGrath says. The mural was painted by Kathleen Hughes, a member of the Philadelphia arts program, and took two weeks to finish.
McGrath says the truck's orange hue makes it unique, as all of the other city trucks are either silver or white. The truck's color was coordinated with cards mailed to residents to announce the city's switch to single-stream recycling in spring 2006. Since then, it also has appeared at several of the city's mural art and anti-graffiti events. McGrath says the truck is responsible for increasing public awareness of the city's recycling efforts and has had a positive effect on their results.
Best Overall - City of Philadelphia
Best Front Loader - Abitibi Consolidated, Recycling Division Houston
Best Side Loader - City of El Paso, Texas, Environmental Services
Best Rear Loader - Texas Disposal Systems Buda, Texas
Best Container Delivery Vehicle - E.O.M.S. Recycling West Bridgewater, Mass.