Idling Gets You Nowhere. Turn Your Engines OFF!

In celebration of Canadian Environment Week (May 31 to June 5), Clean Air Day (June 2) and World Environment Day (June 5), let’s make a commitment to do better, environmentally speaking. There are so many actions we can take such as cleaning up after ourselves and others by not littering the environment, becoming better informed with our purchasing choices, helping to increase biodiversity on our property by choosing plants that attract pollinators such as birds and bees, and growing our own food.

One simple action that we can all take, assuming we drive gas or diesel vehicles, is to turn our engines off while we wait.

Did you know?

  • The City of Burlington has a one-minute idling limit for unnecessary idling.
  • You could receive a $120 ticket if your vehicle is idling unnecessarily, including on your driveway. 
  • Idling your vehicle longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more emissions than restarting your engine. So, if you’re going to be waiting for someone for more than 10 seconds, turn your engine off.
  • Transportation in Burlington is responsible for approximately 40 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Getting out of our vehicles and choosing to be more active or taking transit would be ideal. Driving an electric vehicle would be a good alternative if you need to drive. If you drive a gas or diesel vehicle, ensuring that you turn your engine off while you wait will help reduce unnecessary tailpipe emissions.

Need an Idle Free Zone sign for your business or school?

Idling signs measure 30 x 45 cm and can be purchased for $23.70 + HST. Pick up your sign at City Hall (when the stay-at-home order is lifted). Email to order.

Run a school campaign

Burlington provides resources to schools running idling awareness campaigns. These campaigns remind parents and caregivers to turn their engines off while waiting to pick up students. Email for the following items:

Report excessive idling

If you see repeated excessive idling (Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm), report it to Burlington Parking Services at 905-335-7600 or email If it’s after hours, call Halton Regional Police at 905-878-5511 and ask for “dispatch” for a parking officer.

Take Action Burlington! Collectively we can make a difference to improve our local environment.

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