Garbage truck goes for $14,000

A heated bidding war resulted in a win for the village


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure — at least, that certainly seems the case for Malverne’s 2001 garbage truck. A private company from Rhode Island bought the vehicle for $14,000 after a last-minute bidding frenzy.

“It was kind of exciting that we were able to get that much money for a 23-year-old garbage truck with over 140,000 miles on it,” Kevin Brady, superintendent of the village’s Department of Public Works, said.

The last time the Village of Malverne sold a surplus garbage truck, it went for half that price — but even that was more than they were expecting. When they have unneeded equipment or vehicles, the village values them in the budget at zero, so the sale is entirely profit. They’ve auctioned off former fire chief vehicles and police reserve cars in the past, but the success they found selling this 2001 Mack garbage truck on the auction site Municibid exceeded all expectations.

Though it was old, the garbage truck was anything but trash.

“Just like any old vehicle that you have, it served you well,” Tim Sullivan, mayor of Malverne, said. “It got you from A to B. It was a good investment. But time has weathered the vehicle a little bit. It certainly has been maintained (...) you'd be surprised at what impeccable shape the interior is.”

“According to Kevin Brady, a typical garbage trucks useful life is about 10 years,” he added, “And we've stretched this one out through aggressive maintenance and care for over 20 years. So that itself has provided a great value to the taxpayers of the village.”

The truck was posted with a minimum bid of $5,500, which is about as much the village would have gotten if they sold the truck for scrap parts. It was sitting around $6,500 for days — and then the bidding war hit. The final 10 minutes of the auction were heated, Brady said.

“Just joking around with the guys at work, ‘oh my god, we're gonna get $8,000 for it,’” Brady said. “And they’re like ‘oh no, we're not.’

“And then all of a sudden it went to $9,000,” he said, “and then $9,100.”

A private company from Rhode Island bid $14,000 with only 4 minutes left in the auction. It’s beyond anything Scott Vasso, who owns a truck repair shop, said he’s seen.

“He said for a truck that old and that many miles, he's never seen a truck go for that type of money,” Brady said.

Among the primary motivations for replacing the old truck was updated safety features like rear and side view cameras. Plus, the replacement truck is bigger, making for fewer trips back and forth to the dump, which saves fuel, manpower and vehicle wear-and-tear. 

The Village of Malverne also sold a police reserve vehicle, which went for $4,001.

The money from the auctions will help offset the costs of new equipment, and will also go into a reserve fund that helps maintain taxpayer and village assets like buildings and streets.