What Do Garbage Trucks Do with Trash

What happens to garbage when it is taken away by the garbage disposal company? Surely the waste does not just vanish into non-existence when it enters the truck, right? From what I understand about these trucks and how they work, here is an article that explains the purpose and function of these giant vehicles.

Most garbage trucks simply stop by designated areas of drop-off, collect the trash placed there, compact it for the sake of efficiency, and take it to the nearest dump where it cannot bother anyone. The people who operate these trucks are the ones most qualified for this unsanitary duty.

I do not consider myself a professional when it comes to garbage disposal. However, I have seen a garbage truck in action many times growing up and I have even been to the place where they dispose of the trash they collect. I will draw upon personal experience and likely an extended analogy to answer the question posed.

Garbage Day

What a blessed day is garbage day! You can finally get rid of the household waste and used disposables that you and the other members of your household have accumulated in one or several containers that serve to keep all of these undesirables out of sight and mind.

However, even though they now belong in an area designated to items that no longer concern anyone in particular, sooner or later they can once again enter your peripheral vision. The smell might be a grand offender, as well. All those of a healthy home and mind collectively agree that this issue needs to be dealt with and that the trash needs to be thrown out.

But who takes care of this modern necessity? Who comes to your area and removes the unwanted objects from the neighborhood? How do they do it? What tools and resources do they use in ensuring the most effective manner of emptying all public trash receptacles?

Well, if you have seen one of these big guys pictured above on your street doing exactly these things, you likely already know the answer. Now you might be wondering what these vehicles do with the trash once they obtain it. This article seeks to answer that very question.

Designated Area

In each neighborhood, there is likely a place for the people living there where they can drop off their trash for the trash disposal companies to pick up with dump trucks. They then remove the trash on a certain day of the week designated for disposal. This area can either be directly in front of the house or somewhere nearby where a large dumpster sits outside of most viewing ranges and even smelling ranges of most people.

The latter option is more popular in more urban areas where these massive vehicles would have no chance of completing their job in a convenient and unintrusive manner. In more rural areas or smaller neighborhoods, the people there usually place their bagged trash in a large container meant for outdoor use.


On the day designated for trash collection, these giant, roaring beasts of metal come prowling around to see what feed you have laid out before them. No matter how much or how little you have to offer, the beast will indeed take your disposables. Upon arrival, the men riding this monster dismount and handle the trash with protective leather gloves and other protective articles of clothing. They may work with trash, but they still do need to keep themselves clean and safe like the rest of us.

Either they take the trash from the containers and throw it into the maw of the beast or the beast itself does its own feeding. The dumpsters spoken of earlier can be lifted upward and above the top of the truck with metal bars protruding from the flank of the beast, dumping the contents through a separate opening upon its back.


Once in the maw of the beast, the trash can often becomes too much for one mouth to handle. This is when the drivers activate a mechanism that makes the trash smaller and creates more space for even more trash. The teeth of this beast may likely be one giant, heavy device that presses itself upon the trash, making it take the shape of a cube with each article of trash sticking to one another. This monster of a vehicle does this repeatedly for an entire day until it takes the contents in its belly to the place where all trash must go.

Off to the Dump

Okay, I am going to stop comparing the truck to a beast that eats garbage now. As much as I pride myself on how quickly I came up with that comparison and how effectively creative I hope it turned out to be, it would not serve itself well in describing what happens next — as if this whole process was not messy enough.

Once the route of the truck ends and it has collected all the trash it set out to collect, it takes all of its unsanitary entrails to a place where they can sit undisturbed by man. Well, better put, it will not disturb any man any longer. It may provide a home for rats, flies, and other insects and forms of vermin, though.

The place I am talking about is the dump. These sorts of places are usually located far away from more civilized areas and are fenced off from the public. This is where mountains of waste stand as a testament to the amount of waste mankind disposes of in a certain area. From my experience in visiting the dump, it seemed as though there were different piles designated for holding different kinds of trash.

The dump that was nearest to my hometown was a thirty-minute drive south of town to a dryer, more desert region where very little life was found beside the insects that feed off of the trash. I always thought that we were fortunate enough to have a dump far away from town and in an area where it would not damage the environment severely.

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