Watching garbage trucks and recycling trucks in action is a favorite activity for many children and even adults. I remember that when we were kids, my brother and I used to run to the window every time the garbage truck drove down our street to pick up trash. Watching a giant machine chomping on garbage is just fascinating! Those days, all garbage went to the same truck, but since then, communities have become much more conscious about separating out recyclables – which means we get to watch even more garbage trucks rumbling down our streets! 🙂
LEGO usually releases garbage trucks in the LEGO City line. Some of the earliest sets I can find in the Brickset database focusing on garbage and recycling trucks are the #6693 LEGO Town Refuse Collection Truck from 1987, the #6668 LEGO Town Recycle Truck from 1992, and the #6564 LEGO Town Recycle Truck from 1997. Garbage trucks, recycling, and trash pick-up is a common theme in LEGO City sets, so they are often incorporated in larger sets as well.
Another indication of minifigs’ commitment to proper trash disposal is the amount of trashcans in LEGO sets. The first version of the LEGO trashcan was introduced in 1987, was produced until 2014 in seven colors, and appeared in 59 sets. The second, slightly different version of the trashcan was introduced in 2009 and so far appeared in four colors in 62 sets. Of course, not all of these sets are focused on garbage disposal, but it’s nice to see their presence.
Some of the most notable recent sets with garbage trucks is the #7991 LEGO City Recycle Truck from 2007, the #4206 LEGO City Recycling Truck from 2012, the #4432 LEGO City Garbage Truck from 2012, the #10680 LEGO Juniors Garbage Truck from 2015, the #60118 LEGO City Garbage Truck from 2016, and the #60220 LEGO Juniors Garbage Truck from 2019. There are also some great garbage truck sets for younger builders in the LEGO DUPLO line. The #4659 DUPLO Garbage Truck from 2005, the #5637 DUPLO Garbage Truck from 2009, and the #10519 DUPLO Garbage Truck from 2013 are great examples.
Garbage trucks and trash processing also appear in other LEGO themes outside of LEGO City. A couple of notable examples are the #70805 LEGO Trash Chomper from The LEGO Movie, and the #7596 LEGO Trash Compactor Escape and the #7599 LEGO Garbage Truck Getaway from Toy Story 3.
Besides their enormous size and huffing and puffing noises, the most interesting feature of garbage trucks is their functions. The content of garbage cans can be dumped manually, picked up by a fork on the side or at the front, or even an entire dumpster can be loaded up at one time. LEGO designers attempt to incorporate some of these features to LEGO garbage trucks as play-functions. For example, the #4432 LEGO City Garbage Truck is loaded manually at the back, the #60118 LEGO City Garbage Truck can pick up and empty a dumpster with a fork at the front, and the #4206 LEGO City Recycling Truck can load up three recycling containers with a forklift. These features usually operate with simple lifting and tilting mechanisms.
A more complex, and more realistic automatic side-loading garbage truck was recently submitted to LEGO Ideas by a father and son team, and has been received with great enthusiasm by the LEGO fan community. They have been working on the mechanism of the truck for more than a year, going through at least a dozen different design iterations to make sure it operates reliably and smoothly. The bin arm is operated by a knob to reach out and grab/dump standard LEGO trashcans. There is also a ram in the hopper (operated by a second knob) to push trash into the dumper. The garbage truck is LEGO City scale, and can comfortably hold a minifig driver. There is a handrail and ladder for a second minifig to ride along, as well as clips to hold various tools. You can see the garbage truck in action in the video below.
The model was built and refined with actual LEGO bricks, and a LEGO Digital Designer version was also created to be able to visualize some of the finer details, colors, and decorations (the video above uses both the real and digital versions of the model). The custom printed tiles were designed digitally for the final digital renders and some animations, and then were later custom printed on real pieces.
As I mentioned above, the project is already popular with LEGO fans, parents, educators, and environmentalist, and it quickly gathered over a thousand votes. However, it will need 10k votes for LEGO to consider making it into an actual LEGO set. So, if you like it, consider adding your vote, and also share it with friends and family: VOTE FOR LEGO IDEAS AUTOMATED GARBAGE TRUCK
What do you think? How do you like LEGO garbage trucks? Do you collect them? Which one is your favorite? And how do you like this LEGO Ideas project for an automated garbage truck? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts: