Best Rear Loader - Texas Disposal Systems Buda, Texas

Best Rear Loader - Texas Disposal Systems Buda, Texas

Waste and wildlife? It's not an obvious connection, even after you've seen one of Austin, Texas-based Texas Disposal Systems' (TDS) trucks. The design proudly advertises the company's 1,200-acre Exotic Animal Game Ranch and Pavilion adjacent to its landfill, home to more than 2,100 animals from 31 different species not indigenous to Texas or North America.

Ryan Hobbs, director of operations for TDS, says the trucks have been well received, and the ranch has been extremely successful because of its ability to host charity events. Since opening in 2001, the ranch has welcomed more than 55,000 guests for events that have raised about $5 million for local charities.

The Mack rear loader truck with a McNeilus body features two waterbuck from the ranch with the slogan, “What we do to protect the environment is pretty wild.” Hobbs says they receive roughly 20 calls each week from mothers that say their children are excited to see their trucks. “Some say their kids wake up early on trash day just so they can see the animals on the trucks,” he says. TDS started designing trucks with exotic wildlife from the ranch two years ago. So far, 50 vehicles in the firm's 160-truck fleet sport the designs featuring a menagerie of different animals.

The Winners

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.