Air Quality

Air Quality Improvement Projects

Acquisition of Rincon’s New Trash Truck

The Rincon Tribe provides trash pickup service to Rincon Reservation residents. Owning and operating the trash truck helps contribute towards the self-sufficiency of the Rincon Tribe. In total, an estimated 750 people benefit from this service. In addition to picking up trash from reservation homes, the Rincon Tribe also picks up trash weekly from the 12 bus stops located on the reservation, the Tribal Court, and the churches located on the reservation. Trash pickup service is provided by Rincon General Services.

In the summer of 2019, the Rincon Tribal Government faced a dilemma – the California Air Resource Board (CARB) brought new, tighter emission standards into effect. The existing trash truck owned and operated by the Rincon Tribe was an older model Class 8 trash truck with a 2007 diesel engine that was not able to meet the new CARB emission requirements, and it could not be retrofitted or modified to meet them. As a result, the truck would no longer be able to receive tags allowing it to operate on State of California (i.e., off-reservation) roads. This would mean that after 2021, the truck would no longer be able to take trash to the off-reservation landfill or drive to off-reservation automotive businesses in order to receive maintenance or repairs (without needing to be towed back and forth on a flatbed truck).

In 2020-2021 the Rincon Environmental Department secured funding from both Round 3 of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust For Indian Tribe Beneficiaries (VW Settlement) and EPA General Assistance Program (GAP) grant supplemental funding to purchase a new trash truck – the Peterbilt 520 – to service the reservation that would have improved fuel efficiency and would be able to meet the new air emission regulations.

The new Peterbilt 520 trash truck provides air quality and community benefits, including:

  • Substantially reduced tailpipe emissions (including NOx)
  • Reduced particulate matter (PM) emissions
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Better vehicle performance
  • Improved propulsion system durability
  • Reduced air emissions have been shown to lead to health benefits including the reduction of premature mortality, chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, non-fatal heart attacks, as well as other serious health issues
  • Minimized financial impact to the Rincon Tribe, which was especially important after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 27, 2021, after an approximate one year wait, the new Peterbilt 520 trash truck arrived at the Rincon Reservation. In September 2021 the new trash truck went into operation. In addition to the reduced emissions, the new trash truck has a number of other advantages over the old trash truck:

  • It has an arm on the side that automatically picks up the trash can and empties it into the trash truck, reducing the direct contact that trash collection personnel need to have with trash during collection
  • It has GPS and a back-up camera for increased safety
  • It has a quieter engine than the old trash truck
  • Its engine provides more power in a lightweight and fuel efficient design
  • It’s easier to maneuver and turn on tight, narrow reservation roads.

Rincon’s Dump Truck Replacement Project

In 2021 – 2022, under Round 4 funding of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust For Indian Tribe Beneficiaries (VW Settlement) the Environmental Department received funding towards the replacement of the Tribe’s old 2006 Chevrolet C7 Class 6 dump truck (with a 2006 diesel engine) that also would not able to meet the new CARB emission requirements with the purchase of a new 2022 Peterbilt 337 2 axle chassis 4×4 chipper/dump truck with a removable roof. In addition to providing similar air quality emission benefits as the replacement of the trash truck, the new dump truck will also be able to be used as a chipper truck, as it will have a removable roof, providing greater functionality than the present dump truck. The new dump/chipper truck is anticipated to arrive early 2023.

Go back to Rincon Environmental Department (RED) Page.