About that beeping sound you don't hear anymore...
(via flickr's DanielleH)
Garbage trucks are the only sector of this noisy city that became quieter this year, according to 311 noise complaint stats.
The back story to Tuesday's cover story shows that the Department of Sanitation has been installing technology that shushes the beeping noise made by backing up trucks and hushes the sound of compacting all the garbage you throw out. While noise complaints have gone up 6 percent citywide so far this year, complaints about raucous sanitation vehicles have dropped almost 18 percent.
The backup beepers, as the department calls them, have sensors that detect the ambient sound and then adjust the beep volume accordingly. A quiet residential street will have softer beeps and a noisy thoroughfare will produce beeps that can be heard about the racket.
The department has also been installing technology that makes compacting garbage quieter. The trucks can now pack garbage at idle speeds, instead of sending the engine into a loud whir while garbage is crunched.
The majority of the department's fleet of 6,000 vehicles have been converted, leading to quieter city streets, Rocco DiRico, a sanitation assistant commissioner who manages the fleet.
"Theyre real true to form technological advances that certainly have contributed to a quieter truck," DiRico said.
Additionally, every new truck has to be tested with a decibel meter to make sure it measures up (or quiets down) to city noise code regulations. And trucks will become even quieter yet: DiRico said the department is in the process of testing less squeaky disc brakes as an alternative to drum brakes.
"In all likelihood it will be just fine and it will be another feather in our cap," he said.