"Cover Your Load"

Waste Management has partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Don't Mess with Texas® campaign since 2004 on its “Cover Your Load” program that reminds Texans to “cover your load” to prevent accidental litter and highway hazards when bringing debris to area landfills.

“During the summertime when people move, they clean out their homes and end up with large loads of items they want to donate to charity as well as unwanted trash to be disposed of at the landfill,” says James “Bubba” Smith, Waste Management District Manager. “It’s important that residents properly secure their loads with a tarp to prevent debris from littering the roads and to keep items from falling out and hurting someone.”

During the annual "Cover Your Load" events, Waste Management distributes a flyer to customers with “Cover Your Load” tips as well as Don’t Mess with Texas litterbags.

Covering your load is not only the right thing to do, it’s the law, says Smith. The Texas Transportation Code, as well as Waste Management, requires vehicles be properly equipped to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling.  Waste Management charges landfill customers a fee if their trucks or trailers are not securely tarped.

“Cover Your Load” Tips (click here for an English-Spanish flyer)

  • 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.