-By John Lynds
For years East Boston based Capitol Waste Removal Services has worked with the city and state to implemented ideas
.33and policies to lessen litter on Eastie streets during garbage removal days.
Now the garbage removal company has entered into a state program to reduce emissions in the neighborhood through MassCleanDiesel on dozens of waste removal trucks owned by the company.
Capitol Waste recently received a grant, along with six other private waste haulers in nine municipalities to install diesel pollution control equipment through the program run by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
“Thousands of trucks, buses and off-road vehicles are receiving diesel retrofits as part of our nation-leading MassCleanDiesel program,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan said. “These retrofits significantly reduce harmful emissions, help to protect sensitive populations, and improve the quality of life in our cities and towns.”
The retrofit equipment was installed on municipally-owned waste collection vehicles that pick up curbside residential recyclables and waste.
Capitol Waste and the other companies serve 36 communities across the state.
“Trash truck and recycling vehicle retrofits will ensure that municipalities provide waste collection services that are more environmentally friendly and healthier for their residents,” MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said. “Decreasing collection vehicle emissions and increasing curbside recycling services can be achieved together.”
The MassDEP grant program is funded by the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and an environmental enforcement settlement between the American Electric Power company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
All the retrofitting to Capitol Waste’s fleet was done under state contract with MassDEP, Shuster Corporation of New Bedford and Southworth-Milton, Inc. of Milford.
All together Capitol Waste Services had four recycling and 36 refuse vehicles retrofitted that serve Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Haverhill, Quincy, Revere, Waltham, and Winthrop.
The private and municipal waste haulers join a growing movement to “green” diesel vehicles. In recent years, more than 40 communities have retrofitted some or all of their school buses, off-road engines, or waste collection vehicles. MassDEP has reached out to communities across the state as part of its MassCleanDiesel strategy to reduce fine particulate matter (PM) in Massachusetts – a strategy that includes $22 million in funding to retrofit all eligible Massachusetts school and transit buses, contract requirements to retrofit off-road engines used in state-funded construction projects, and enforcement of the state’s anti-idling regulation and other regulations requiring strict emission standards for a range of diesel vehicles.
Back in 2008 Capitol Waste began picking up garbage off Eastie’s streets on the morning of trash day rather than letting the garbage barrels sit on the curb all day after several requests from the community.
The request came because the overwhelming problem of litter in the neighborhood mainly comes from residential trash which is not secured properly and stays out on the sidewalk until late afternoon. Over the past few years Capitol Waste has responded and has made a significant difference combatting the occurrences of litter on trash days in Eastie.
Capitol Waste began trash pick up in Eastie at 7 a.m. on trash day–four and a half hours earlier than the company started picking up trash in the neighborhood in years past.