Louisville Garbage Trucks Cleaning Up Their Act

Governor Steve Beshear announced today that the Kentucky Division for Air Quality has awarded Louisville Metro Government $54,000 to reduce diesel emissions from its waste-hauling fleet. The funds were made available through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act.

“I applaud Louisville Metro for working to achieve cleaner air in Kentucky’s largest city,” said Gov. Beshear. “State and local partnerships like these benefit public health and economic development.”

The project will retrofit two refuse haulers with diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems, reducing emissions of particulate matter by nearly 90 percent. Particulate matter is linked to increased risk of stroke, heart attack and other serious health problems.

The project will also fund equipment to help keep the filters clean and working properly.

A diesel particulate filter replaces the muffler of the vehicle, trapping most of the fine particulate pollution before it can escape out the tailpipe. A closed crankcase ventilation system reduces emissions from the crankcase into the engine compartment.  This combination of technologies ensures the greatest possible level of emission reductions to the ambient air and is most protective of the vehicle operator’s health.

“Improving our city’s air quality through a cleaner-running vehicle fleet is a top priority of our sustainability planning, so we are pleased and appreciative of this award,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Sanitation trucks are on the roads providing service thousands of hours each year, so reducing emissions from these vehicles is a huge benefit. Metro Government must continue to set an example and show leadership when it comes to improving Louisville’s air quality, and this keeps us moving in the right direction.”

Retrofitting waste-hauling equipment generates net benefits for a large number of an area’s inhabitants, since those vehicles travel on a large percentage of the area’s roads. Waste haulers also make frequent stops and starts, which increase emissions.

With an average useful life expectancy of at least 11 years, these trucks will remain in heavy use for many years to come, making the emission reductions achieved by these retrofits a long-term benefit for the community.