TITLE>Background Material: Using the ARB's SWCV Rule

Using the ARB's SWCV Rule

This page last reviewed December 4, 2008

This page will help solid waste collection vehicle (SWCV) owners understand what they must do to operate under the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) solid waste collection vehicle rule. As you read through this information you will find web-links to give you more information about the subjects being discussed.


The rule applies to all SWCVs of 14,000 pounds or more that run on diesel fuel, have engines in model years (MY) from 1960 through 2006, and collect waste for a fee. Each year through 2010, waste hauling and waste recycling companies are required to install ARB verified devices known as Best Available Control Technology (BACT), to reduce the diesel smoke coming from some of their waste collection trucks. (See How do I comply?) The rule went into effect in 2004 and by December 31, 2004, hauling companies were required to do two things:

  1. Reduce the smoke from 10% of their diesel trucks with 1988-2002 MY engines (and 25% by December 31, 2005) using Currently Verified Technologies and

  2. Put doorjamb labels on all their SWCVs, Sample Solid Waste Collection Vehicle Labels (PDF).


The ARB verified BACT strategies to reduce smoke, Diesel Emission Control Strategies Verification, include devices that are added to a vehicle's exhaust system such as filters or catalysts. Wastehauling companies can also meet BACT standards by replacing diesel trucks or engines with certain MY vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid natural gas (LNG). Finally, new diesel trucks that will be sold starting in 2007 with engines certified to the new, lower smoke standard of 0.01 grams per brakehorse power-hour meet the BACT level required by the SWCV rule.

The rule requires that an increasing number of vehicles be equipped with ARB verified smoke reducing devices or strategies each year through 2010. The number of vehicles to be equipped depends on the number of vehicles in the fleet and the engine MYs of those vehicles. The ARB divides SWCVs into Group 1 (engine MYs 1988-2002), Group 2 (engine MYs 1960-1987), and Group 3 (engine MYs 2003-2006). See Implementation Schedule.

More information can be obtained by going to the Solid Waste Collection Vehicle Rule web page. Start by reading the Frequently Asked Questions and then view other information on the page. Telephone numbers and email addresses to reach ARB staff are also available on the Contact Us web page.

Some documents are provided in Adobe Acrobat (PDF). If you do not have Acrobat, you may download it for free from Adobe's website.

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