Raleigh’s Residents Salute Solid Waste Workers On Waste and Recycling Workers Week – June 17th Raleigh’s Residents Salute Solid Waste Workers On Waste and Recycling Workers Week – June 17th
News posted Jun. 17, 2013 – 2:31 pm
They work in all types of weather to serve Raleigh’s residents, driving more than 900,000 miles each year to collect garbage, yard waste, and recyclable materials from neighborhoods throughout the city. They cover more than 144 square miles of service area, and they assist with numerous city-sponsored festivals and events throughout the year. They are the men and women of the City of Raleigh Solid Waste Services (SWS) Department.
Today, June 17, is the first annual “Waste and Recycling Workers Week”, an observance envisioned by John Arwood, the CEO of a waste management company based in Jacksonville, Florida. Arwood has petitioned public and private solid waste enterprises throughout the country to join him in recognizing the hard work of solid waste crews, and Raleigh is pleased to join in this nationwide day of appreciation. While the designation of “garbage man” is commonly used, women are increasingly joining the ranks of solid waste crews throughout the country. In Raleigh, solid waste services crews not only collect garbage, but also recycling and yard waste.
The City of Raleigh retains more than 200 full time employees in the Solid Waste Services Department, most of whom serve on collection crews in the Operations Division. The department regularly receives compliments from customers throughout the city, praising the hard work and dedication of these employees. Here is a sampling of recent compliments from Raleigh residents:
- A customer on Vega Court called to commend an SWS employee for moving several recycling cans away from vehicles so that they could be serviced. She said her street is packed with cars, making it a difficult area to be serviced, but the crew who serviced her street demonstrated great commitment to getting the job done.
- A customer in the Abbington Ridge community wrote to thank SWS employees who take the time to pick up trash from the neighborhood’s clean-up events. She thanked SWS employees who go out of the way to help make her neighborhood look clean and attractive.
- An organizer of an event in downtown Raleigh emailed to commend an SWS crew for their hard work at his event. The event had approximately 4,000 people in attendance, and the event organizers were very appreciative of the hard work that the SWS employees did to keep the area clean. The event organizer called the SWS crew “professional and courteous.”
While the Solid Waste Services Department receives complaints from time to time, it is always encouraging to city crews to be recognized for their efforts. The department welcomes notes of praise or constructive criticism from customers. There are other ways you can show your appreciation for the hard work of solid waste crews:
- Give collection crews room to work. When driving near a collection truck, be patient and stay clear of the truck. Take caution when passing the vehicle. While some City of Raleigh collection trucks are equipped with an automated arm, many trucks require staff to manually handle the garbage, yard waste, or recycling carts. Look out for employees as they walk around and behind the vehicle. Collection crews wear “safety green” uniforms to increase their visibility.
- When you see SWS crews at work, wave to say hello! Some customers go a step farther and offer a cold bottle of water or other refreshments to crews in their neighborhood. Any act of kindness is appreciated.
- Be mindful of how you set out your garbage, yard waste, and recycling for collection.
As the Solid Waste Services Department services more than 100,000 households throughout Raleigh, crews can work more safely and efficiently when customers follow these guidelines:
- Place garbage and recycling carts a few inches from the curb or edge of the street, not in the street.
- Keep carts at least five feet from objects that could be damaged or cause damage to the carts. This includes vehicles, other carts, mailboxes, fences, power lines, etc.
- Place carts so that the cart handle faces your house and the front of the cart where the lid opens faces the street. This will ensure the lid opens properly and is not damaged when emptied.
- Place the cart at the curbside no earlier than noon the day before or no later than 7 a.m. on your collection day.
Additional tips for proper set-out are on the city website. Customers are also encouraged to review “Talking Trash”, the department’s comprehensive brochure about Raleigh’s Solid Waste Services. The brochure is available for download in English and Spanish at http://www.raleighnc.gov/recycling. Customers who prefer a hard copy of the brochure may request one by calling 919-996-6890.
The public is invited to learn more about the work of solid waste services personnel at the North Carolina SWANA Equipment & Truck Road-E-O this Saturday, June 22 at the Wilder’s Grove Solid Waste Services Facility in Raleigh.