Waste Collection Vehicle Fleet Management and Maintenance Study 

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is conducting a research project to better understand the size and maintenance of waste collection vehicle (WCV) fleets throughout the industry.  

While much attention is given to end points of disposal such as landfilling, recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy, the solid waste industry is primarily an industry focused on the transport of waste materials from the point of collection to the end points of disposal. Despite this, studying the impact of fleet management activities on emissions, safety, economics, and similar variables has not yet been done in a way that generally educates the industry.  

The primary goal of this effort is to compile information that summarizes typical practices in waste collection vehicle (WCV) fleet management.  

For example, some of the data to be collected as part of this effort include:  

  • Fleet size (number of trucks) 
  • Truck type (e.g. rear load, front load, side load, roll-off) 
  • Fuel type (e.g. diesel, CNG) 
  • Ratio of spare/extra trucks 
  • Average age of truck for each truck type 
  • Annual operating hour goals/truck 
  • Factors/criteria regarding when a truck is retired 
  • Average uptime/downtime 
  • Industry maintenance and repair practices 

Results from this study will provide insight to the following types of topics:  

  • Estimation of waste collection vehicle demographics (truck type, fuel type, spare truck ratios) in urban, suburban, and rural areas for both commercial and residential collection. 
  • Evaluation of the environmental (e.g. emissions) and economic impacts of fleet operations and maintenance, both in general and for specific fleet types and maintenance practices.  
  • Estimating the average age of waste collection vehicle fleets and understanding when, why, and how often trucks are replaced instead of repaired.  
  • A deeper understanding of how fleet management decisions affect waste collection activities, including employee retention, job safety and difficulty, and collection route decision making.  

Interested in providing data?  

If you are interested in completing our survey and providing data, please click the following link: