Recycling facilities can be busy places with dozens of trucks coming and going each day. Establishing traffic patterns to control vehicle flow can reduce the risk of accidents and keep workers and customers safe throughout the day. It also may prevent trucks from idling in the street waiting to enter thus reducing emissions.
Recyclers have an obligation to manage traffic safely on the worksite to eliminate or reduce any health and safety risks that may exist in the workplace. Unfortunately, communities often blame recycling facilities for traffic problems near them—everything from overloaded trucks causing potholes to trucks turning into oncoming traffic from highway exits and idling trucks that spew exhaust into the neighborhood.
Develop a traffic-management plan for your site:
Your onsite dust-management plan should call for:
- Map out all possible movements of equipment and vehicles into or out of the property.
- Identify collision points near your property on adjacent roads and streets.
- Identify and ensure any pedestrian routes or crossings are clearly visible to vehicles and marked for drivers and walkers alike.
- Implement risk controls like signage, reversing beepers, speed-limiting devices, convex mirrors, one-way traffic, etc.
- Always confirm that loads leaving your facility are tied down or secured before the drivers hit the road.
- Consider scheduling certain deliveries and/or pick-ups to space out the traffic to keep congestion and idling trucks to a minimum.
Work with local officials and community members to learn how trucks coming into and out of your facility affect local traffic conditions at different times of day. Contact railroads to learn the schedules of trains crossing tracks near or on your property. If semis backed up on streets concern your neighbors, build a parking lot where trucks can wait to load or unload.
If you deem it feasible, ask local government for a traffic study of streets or roads near your facility to identify intersections, traffic signals, railroad crossings, entrances and exits, and general traffic patterns that may impact vehicles coming or going.
Something as simple as spreading the day’s loading schedule over a longer time to cut down on truck noise and emissions, especially during times when children are walking to and from school, will go a long way to show your neighborliness to your community. Consider volunteering to pick up litter twice a day from the public streets, trails, and neighbors’ yards outside your gates to demonstrate your community concerns.