Not that I am an environmentalist by any means, but as humans living on a borrowed planet, we have a certain amount of responsibility to maintain it for future generations.  Call me sappy, but I take great pride in knowing that I do everything I can to make sure the world my daughter and future grandchildren grow up in is the best it can be.  I know I drive a diesel fuel consuming, greenhouse gas-emitting tool to conduct my business.  So I guess being environmentally responsible for future generations is just my way of trying to reduce the footprint I leave behind when I am gone. 
Being that most drivers spend more time in their trucks than anywhere else, it is inevitable that trash is produced as a result of eating, drinking, and other typical daily functions.  When it comes down to getting rid of it though, it is not like at home where there is a trash collection every week and you just throw it the bin on the side yard until collection day.  We have a limited space inside these trucks in which to live and trash collecting up in critical operating space is not an option.  So how does one dispose of trash on the road?  Typically it is in a trash receptacle or dumpster located at either a truck stop, rest area, or even your company’s secure yard.  Throwing your trash out alongside the road is never a responsible option and should be looked down upon, as it is counter-productive to the image of the industry as a whole!
When it comes to the trash receptacles at most truck stops, it can be hard to get your full trash bag into the collection bin.  A lot of these were originally designed for automobile service stations with small openings and are considered small in general, when taking into consideration that hundreds of trucks roll through the fuel islands everyday.  If the bins are full and a dumpster is not nearby, store it in an unused, out-of-sight location until your next stop rather than leave it in the parking area. 
The responsibility of trash disposal comes not only from throwing your trash away properly and in a sanitary manner, but also from something I do with the future in mind.  Recycling can be an effort that has a great impact on the future of our planet and I happen to take great pride in my actions to conserve our resources by doing so.  The only problem with doing so when living on the road is the lack of recycling access at truck stops and truck related rest locations.  Yes, trash bins are usually readily available, but I notice a general lack of blue or green recycling containers out there for drivers to access.  I am sure that in an average day, most drivers consume at least a few items in recyclable containers.  Saving these items in a separate waste bag until one can dispose of them in a recycling bin can have a great impact on our environment.  I always have a separate plastic grocery that is set aside for recyclables.  Once full, I double bag it and store it out of sight until I get home and can deposit it in our weekly collection bin.  In our combined recycling efforts, household and truck, we routinely have twice as much recyclables as we do trash on a weekly basis!  This not only makes us feel good about the world we are leaving behind for our family when we are gone, but also helps us reduce the amount of trash going into our already fast-growing landfills.  I invite all of you willing to join me to help do your part to dispose of waste in a sanitary and ecologically responsible manner.


Comments (6)

Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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I wonder....could they make diesel from used motor oil? Or is this already happening and I'm just slow?

September 06, 2013 13:54:45 PM

It is nice to see states like Wisconsin stepping up in this area and I wish other states would be more proactive. The point that Craig brings up about reducing dependency on natural resources should make it a clear choice. Too many people fail to realize that natural resources are ultimately limited. Even though most resources will last through our lifetimes, they are all still borrowed from the earth we have to call home and will eventually run out or become so scarce that the price would become outrageous.

August 18, 2013 20:38:43 PM

It seems like that might be a way for truck stops to reduce their waste removal costs as well !!

August 17, 2013 14:45:33 PM

The world certainly would be a better place if there wasn't trash lying around. I believe recycling is an excellent idea and every truck stop, store and rest area should provide recycle bins next to the trash bins. Recycling cuts our dependency on natural resources, domestic and imported. Making something new from recycled materials takes a fraction of the natural resources that making it from scratch takes. Great article Jimmy.

August 16, 2013 20:06:56 PM

I also like the idea of recycling and the idea of trucks stops helping us with this goal. Staying away from home as long as we do does not give us the option of saving our recyclables till we get home.

August 16, 2013 6:26:10 AM

All of the rest areas in Wisconsin have separate recycling bins. It would be cool for the truck stops to start doing this too.

August 16, 2013 6:14:24 AM