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How Commercial Waste Zones Can Help Reduce Vehicle Emissions

Preliminary studies suggest that rationalizing collection routes would reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

As many states and cities work to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, solutions like commercial waste zones and new laws and policies are considered and/or implemented.

Los Angeles implemented a commercial waste zone system last year, and now New York City is following in its footsteps. In New York City, vehicles account for 23 percent of GHG emissions, and preliminary studies suggest that rationalizing collection routes would reduce vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions.

In addition to preparing to implement a commercial waste zone, the city is setting policies that encourage or force vehicles to drive less, ultimately reducing vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions.

New York Law Journal has more details:

States and cities are striving to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an era when the federal government is moving in the opposite direction. They can take some comfort in the fact that many sources of emissions—electricity generators, heating and cooling systems in buildings, and other stationary sources—remain within state and local control. Not so with vehicles, which account for 23 percent of GHG emissions in New York City. Federal law pre-empts direct state and local regulation of mobile source or “tailpipe” emissions and now the EPA has proposed a substantial rollback of fuel efficiency and emission standards for passenger vehicles. While it remains to be seen whether that rollback (if enacted) will withstand legal challenge, state and local governments have found creative ways to reduce emissions from passenger and commercial vehicles without crossing constitutional lines. A prime example is New York City’s current effort to reform the commercial waste hauling industry by bidding out the right to operate trucks in specific geographic zones. Preliminary studies suggest that rationalizing collection routes would substantially reduce vehicle miles traveled and, in turn, emissions of air pollutants and GHGs.

Read the full story here.

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