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.