The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces that it would grant the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) a rare Hours-of-Service exemption exclusively to its members that will eliminate the need for them to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) as otherwise is required under new rules. NWRA first made this request in November 2018.
“This is a historic win for our members in the waste and recycling industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “While NWRA recognizes the safety benefits that ELDs present for other sectors, these devices are actually counterproductive for our industry and increase risks associated with distracted driving due to the frequency that waste and recycling industry drivers must interact with them. We are pleased that FMCSA agreed with our petition for an exemption for the members of our association.”
Under the exemption, the time limit for waste and recycling collection drivers to return to their work reporting location is increased from 12 hours to 14 hours. The daily driving limit remains at 11 hours.
According to the Notice of Final Disposition to be published in the Federal Register Nov 21, “This exemption is limited to the provisions of 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii) and is available only to drivers for companies that are members of NWRA. These drivers must comply with all other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs.” (emphasis added)
FMCSA granted NWRA member company Waste Management’s request for such an exemption on Oct. 25, 2018, citing the ready-mix concrete and asphalt pavement industries due to the waste and recycling industry’s similarities with them. Other NWRA members have since filed requests with FMCSA for the same exemption. Granting this exemption specifically to NWRA members brings consistent rulemaking across the association’s membership.
“It is estimated that the ELD requirement would have cost our members $116.7 million over 2 years,” stated Jim Riley, NWRA Chief Counsel & Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. “That does not include fines levied on drivers and carriers for exceeding the daily 11-hour driving limit due to ELD technology not being able to accurately record all the on-duty, but non-driving tasks drivers perform each day. This cost savings will enable our members to grow their businesses and create more good-paying jobs.”
NWRA is only the third association to receive a year-round exemption. FMCSA has previously granted this exemption to the American Concrete Pumping Association and the National Asphalt Pavement Association. NWRA thanks our members who commented and submitted their own requests for exemptions. The exemption’s effective date is upon its publication in the Federal Register and is good for five years.