Five reasons to love your recycling driver | Guest editorial

What are some reasons to love your local recycling driver?

Michelle Metzler Courtesy photo

Michelle Metzler Courtesy photo

How sweet it is! February is the month for love, for reminding friends and family just how much we care.

But what about the folks who aren’t “top of mind” — the people who quietly go about their jobs, making our lives and our neighborhoods better?

That’s right, I’m talking about your local recycling driver. What’s to love? Let’s count the ways:

1. She’s reliable. She knows when you expect her and she arrives like clockwork. (Even your mother doesn’t visit every week!)

2. He’s always looking out for you. Waste Management drivers are trained to observe and report anything unusual along their routes through a program called Waste Watch. Take Kirkland driver David Salts, for instance. Salts makes time to help his customers with a lot more than their curbside carts. When a customer in Rose Hill lost her husband, Salts stepped in to help by mowing the lawn and taking care of other odds and ends, even bringing a fresh fuchsia bouquet on Mother’s Day.

3. She’s your Recycle Often Recycle Right partner. Your driver is your ally for making sure materials make it to the right carts. If you’ve ever come home to find a note fastened to your cart, you know what I mean. Like that time your kids put a plastic bag full of recyclables in the recycling. Chances are, your eagle-eyed driver caught it, and left you a reminder. (For next time, no bagged recyclables in the recycling! It’s important to place recyclables loose in your container so Waste Management can sort them properly. Need more tips on how to “clean up” your recycling? Check out RecycleOftenRecycleRight.com)

4. He’s all about clean air and quieter streets for Kirkland. Yes, that shiny green truck is powered by natural gas, so the engine runs cleaner and quieter for a smaller carbon footprint. That’s an important part of why your driver and the WM fleet won the 2017 Best Performance award from the Western Washington Clean Cities program.

5. She’s a role model in the community. Take driver Lindsey Leitch as an example. Leitch’s hard work has earned big smiles and encouragement from her community, including the title “hero” from a girl along her route who dreams of one day driving a shiny green truck. More women are in the driver’s seat these days and are proud to help their communities and the environment.

So, during the month when we show loved ones just how much we care, let’s add recycling drivers to our “lovable people” lists — for everything they do to keep our communities clean, green and safe.

Michelle Metzler is the recycling education & outreach manager for Waste Management. Learn more at sustainability.wm.com.

More in Opinion

Photo by Matt Phelps
President, governor or retirement — only Inslee knows his plan

What we do know is that he’s off to Iowa in June to deliver the keynote address at a party fundraiser.

It’s time to make Western Washington coal-free | Guest Column

For Washington to be a true climate leader, PSE needs to get out of the coal business.

Cleaning up the complex | Guest Column

Solving the multifamily recycling puzzle.

Major changes coming to I-405 — your input is critical | From the Council

Open house about project set for April 26 at Lake Washington High School.

Michelle Metzler
Earth Day flashback: 30 years of Puget Sound recycling | Guest Column

In Puget Sound, 1988 had a green significance.

Family Literacy Night was a huge success | Letter

I am writing today to say how excited I was to read… Continue reading

Global warming and Drive Throughs

Why don’t we hear anything about busy drive througs for coffee, fast food, drug stores and banking?

Private schools are not a solution to mass shootings | Letter

This letter is a response to “Don’t ban guns, ban government schools”.

Speak up to help silent sufferers of domestic violence | Guest Column

Leveraging the heightened awareness sparked by the #metoo movement.

Editorial: Tariffs on newsprint a threat to newspapers

U.S. tariffs on Canadian paper have surged costs for newspapers with little benefit for U.S. mills.

More than a simple greeting | From Kirkland to Quito

Kirkland native Emma Tremblay shares how just saying “Hello” can get complicated in Ecuador.

Reporter joins forces with Eastside papers to serve you better

You may have noticed some changes at the Reporter.