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LCSWMA Imposes $20 Penalty to Help Enforce Existing Tarp Policy

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News Release

July 20, 2022

Karen Gross

Communications Manager


LCSWMA Imposes $20 Penalty to Help Enforce Existing Tarp Policy

Securing open loads with a tarp prevents litter and vehicle accidents while protecting the environment

LANCASTER (Lancaster County, PA) – The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) is requiring that all commercial and residential customers transporting waste to any of its facilities use a tarp to secure open loads or face a $20 penalty.  Second offenders will be turned away. 

“The health and safety of our community matters,” Robert Zorbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of LCSWMA, said.  “Waste coming loose from unsecured loads is dangerous to drivers and litters our roadways.  Our employees spend countless hours collecting litter from trailers, pick-up trucks and commercial vehicles that aren’t properly tarped.  The objective of the $20 penalty is to change behavior so customers abide by the existing policy,” he added.

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, unsecured loads and debris in the road led to 200,000 crashes between 2011-2014.  During that time, debris related vehicle accidents caused 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.  Data released by the same organization found that as a nation, we spend $11.5 billion combating litter, 40% of which comes from unsecured loads. 

LCSWMA officials note that according to Pennsylvania’s State and Federal requirements, it’s also the law to tarp loads.

Loads must be covered with a securely fastened water-resistant cover that eliminates potential for littering and other nuisances. 25 Pa. Code §§ 285.211(a) and 299.211(a)

Facility operators and owners such as LCSWMA are responsible for knowing and complying with all relevant laws, regulations, authorizations and permits to help avoid the environmental impacts and public health, safety, and welfare issues associated with the transportation of solid waste. 

When transporting any waste, objects or materials in an open trailer or vehicle, drivers should:

  • Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer
  • Never overload the vehicle
  • Check for possibilities of shifting
  • Securely place a water-resistant tarp over the entire open load

“Not only is it required by law and mandated in the Lancaster County Municipal Waste Management Plan to tarp loads, but it shows courtesy to residents and businesses located on roads leading to our sites,” said Zorbaugh. “We realize it can be an inconvenience to commercial and residential customers, but it’s proven to help protect the environment and the health and safety of our community.  We are extremely appreciative of everyone who has been adhering to the policy,” Zorbaugh added.    

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LCSWMA is a regional government authority, recognized nationally for its leadership in the solid waste industry and its innovative Integrated System that includes: (1) a Transfer Station permitted to handle up to 2,200 tons per day; (2) a 1,200 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Lancaster and 800 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Harrisburg for the combustion of waste and production of electricity; (3) the Frey Farm Landfill, permitted for disposal of 3,000 tons of waste per day; (4) a county-wide recycling program; and (5) drive-through Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Visit to learn more.