'Cover Your Load' During Summertime Moving Season

Waste Management and Don't Mess with Texas® Team Up To Prevent Accidental Litter, Highway Hazards

Jun 14, 2010, 10:22 ET from Waste Management

HOUSTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Texas' four major cities are among the top 20 most popular moving destinations, so with the summer moving season comes a friendly reminder from Waste Management of Texas and the Texas Department of Transportation's Don't Mess with Texas® campaign to "Cover Your Load" when hauling household items and unwanted debris.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090219/WMLOGO)

Houston ranked #1 as a top destination for movers traveling more than 50 miles in 2009, followed by San Antonio (#4), Austin (#5), Dallas (#16) and Fort Worth (#44).*  As families move throughout the Lone Star State, they also get rid of junk and unwanted items like old appliances, furniture, equipment, paints and household chemicals, and other debris.  

Waste Management reminds movers to properly secure their loads to prevent accidental litter and highway hazards from falling out of trucks and trailers when making a drop-off at the landfill or when delivering items to recycling centers, household hazardous waste centers, Goodwill, or Habitat for Humanity locations. In Texas, failing to cover your load is against the law and carries a fine of up to $200 for the first offense.

During the week of June 14, a dozen Waste Management owned and/or operated landfills across Texas will distribute "Cover Your Load" tips and Don't Mess with Texas® litterbags to customers.

Waste Management provides the following "Cover Your Load" tips:

  • Use a tarp big enough to completely cover your trailer or truck bed — a minimum of four inches should overlap the sides, front and back of your load.
  • Tightly secure the tarp with ropes, bungee cords, netting or straps.
  • Put lighter items at the bottom of the load.
  • When transporting large items, make sure they are tied down and secured to the truck or trailer so they don't move.
  • A tarp is not required if the debris is completely enclosed by a load-carrying compartment.
  • Make sure your truck or trailer bed does not have a hole, crack or other opening where debris can escape.
  • Don't overload — keep material level with the truck bed or trailer.
  • Before leaving the landfill, remove any loose material that may remain in the trailer or truck bed.

"Covering your load is not only the right thing to do, it's the law," says Steve Jacobs, director of disposal operations for Waste Management.  The Texas Transportation Code, as well as Waste Management, requires vehicles to be properly equipped to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling.  Waste Management typically charges landfill customers a fee if their trucks are not securely tarped.

"No one wants to drive behind a truck or trailer with large items not tied down securely, or with cans, bottles or other debris flying out because the load is not covered," says Jacobs. "Waste Management reminds Texans to 'cover your load' and keep our roads safe."

"Texans can help keep our roadways litter-free by following these easy tips on how to properly cover your load," said Doris Howdeshell, TxDOT Travel Information Division Director.

Waste Management owned and/or operated landfills participating in the campaign are:  

  • Central Texas:  Austin Community Landfill, Williamson County Landfill and City of Temple Landfill
  • San Antonio: Covel Gardens Landfill
  • North Texas:  DFW Landfill (Lewisville), Fort Worth Landfill, Ferris Landfill, New Boston Landfill and Hillside Landfill
  • Houston: Atascocita Landfill, Security Landfill and Cougar Landfill

Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services and the largest recycler in North America.  

TxDOT's Don't Mess with Texas® litter prevention campaign has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986.  For more information, visit www.dontmesswithtexas.org.

* U-Haul National Migration Trend Report, 2009 Top Growth Cities

SOURCE Waste Management