Customers serviced by the bright pink Paper Pig recycling truck are in "hog heaven," according to Erik Heyne, director of marketing at Waste Reduction Systems (WRS), Houston. Their happiness, said Heyne, goes beyond seeing the big pink porker that visits their homes. The pig's customers are actually paid for the materials it collects.
This unusual truck is equipped with an automated cart tipper and scale that weighs individual loads as they are collected. Customers are then paid for their paper, giving new meaning to the phrase, "it pays to recycle." This method, said Heyne, not only encourages recycling, but also saves time and allows for greater productivity.
Although this is the truck's first a-ward, one can imagine how much at-tention it gets as it travels from Houston to nearby Conroe, Galves-ton and Baytown. "WRS wants to heighten awareness for people to re-cycle and convey the idea that re-cycling can be fun," said Heyne.
Complete with snout, eyelashes and tail (all made from recycled scrap metal), the Ford truck's de-sign came from an employee who suggested converting all WRS trucks into work animals. According to Heyne, the pink porker was first turned loose on January 1, 1995.
Designed to target small office buildings (two to 10 stories) that typically do not generate enough volume for conventional collection methods, the Paper Pig is said to gobble anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000 pounds of paper per month. Although it is the only one of its kind, there are plans to expand the fleet in the future.