Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge asked state legislators to approve his plan to crack down on trash haulers and make them register for operating permits that could cost up to $5,000.

The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Assn. reports that the plan has been introduced in both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Gov. Ridge would like to see all trucks hauling municipal waste and weighing more than 45,000 pounds to get state approval to operate or face possible shutdowns.
Fees under the proposal range from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on vehicle weight. The fees would be used to pay for an expanded garbage truck inspection program.
Pennsylvania, which is a recipient of a lot of trash from other states, was the site of a scandal a few years ago when it was discovered that a lot of compressed/baled trash was being trucked into Pennsylvania landfills in trailers that also hauled foodstuffs. Most of Pennsylvania's trash haulers are owner-operators and small fleets.
The bill also would impose a freeze on new landfill permits and put a permanent cap on landfills' waste-disposal capacity.