Who was your valentine this month? As you reflect on all the people who hold special places in your heart, you may consider friends, family and teachers. But what about those who work behind the scenes to keep our neighborhoods clean and sustainable?
That’s right, I’m talking about your local recycling driver. What’s to love? Let’s count the ways:
They bring a smile to your child’s face. Kids love to see the shiny green recycling truck and exchange waves with drivers. We often hear from parents that recycling day is their child’s favorite day of the week. It’s ours, too!
They help keep neighborhoods safe. Drivers provide an extra set of eyes and ears because they are out in the community early in the morning, when crimes often occur. Drivers are trained to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. When they observe something unusual — like a front door wide open at 5 a.m., a child wandering alone or smoke coming from an attic — they report it to law enforcement. This WM program, called Waste Watch, has saved lives and solved crimes nationwide. You can feel safer knowing your WM driver is looking out for you.
Your community is their community, too. Many drivers have been servicing the same homes for years and know the neighborhood like the back of their hand. WM drivers cherish their long-term relationships with residents. February is a perfect time to return the love: Extend a friendly hello to your driver. They will treasure it!
They help you recycle right. WM drivers are your partner in recycling right. Rain or shine, your loyal recycle driver will be there to collect all your bottles, cans, and paper to ensure they make it to their next best use. Not sure if something is recyclable? The best place to check is the WM website, wmnorthwest.com. If you accidentally recycle the wrong thing, your driver may notice and leave you a friendly tag with reminders.
They’re all about clean air. The recycling truck servicing your neighborhood is powered by gas collected at landfills – gas from garbage! Renewable natural gas is 90% cleaner than traditional diesel and 60% cleaner that compressed natural gas, for cleaner air and one sweet ride!
This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to show some love for the faithful recycling drivers and everything they do to keep our communities clean, green and safe.
Karissa Jones is WM’s education and outreach manager. Learn more about waste reduction at wmnorthwest.com.