Environmental Protection

Waste Hauler Cited for Idling Again

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited a Massachusetts waste hauler for exceeding the state's five minute idling limit for the third time this year. Waste Management Inc. will pay a penalty of $27,200 for excessive idling at its Stoughton, Taunton, and West Boylston, Mass. depots.

In total, EPA has collected $329,500 in penalties for idling violations from Capitol Waste Services, Allied Waste Services, and Waste Management.

As part of the settlements, Waste Management and Allied Waste have agreed to make operational changes to minimize future idling. Waste Management has retrained its drivers about the state idling rule and will inspect all its Massachusetts facilities daily.

Allied will train drivers, post signage, inspect yards twice daily, and ensure that automatic engine shutoff devices are working properly in the four Allied locations cited for violations. Both companies will submit quarterly compliance reports to EPA.

Even with diesel fuel prices over $4.00 per gallon, some fleet managers have not taken steps to minimize unnecessarily vehicle idling. Although idling to perform required engine-on vehicle safety checks is generally permitted, excessive idling often occurs out of habit or due to outdated assumptions about engine function. Taking steps to improve arrival and departure logistics as well as to change driver behavior will not only help companies protect the health of their drivers and the surrounding community, but also will save fuel and money.

Waste Management Inc. is the largest solid waste hauling company in the country, serving more than 25 million customers across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. In 2007 and 2008, EPA inspected numerous locations where trucks park in an effort to reduce habitual and systematic idling of fleets, especially in heavily populated areas.

Specifically, EPA inspected Waste Management trucks in Attleboro, Sandwich, Stoughton, Taunton, West Boylston, and Woburn.

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