By Roger LeBlanc, Prince William County Solid Waste Division
Prince William County will be celebrating National Garbage Man Day and National Safety Month during the week of June 17, with a focus on recognition and worker safety. The solid waste management industry and trash collectors work long and hard hours to keep our county clean and our environment green. Trash haulers that come to the Prince William County Landfill during the week will receive an expression of thanks and a special treat that includes safety tips.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed June 17, 2018 as The Official Celebration of National Garbage Man Day. The proclamation encourages Prince William citizens and the business community to recognize these workers for their important work during the week of June 17.
Year after year, refuse and recycling collection work ranks in the top 10 of the most dangerous jobs in America, ranked by sources such as USA Today and Forbes. Loading trash bins from curbs in the community, puts collection workers at risk from passing cars. On June 22, the Prince William Solid Waste Division will host a safety event at the county landfill, highlighting the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) “Five to Stay Alive” tips for collection workers.
In addition to collecting trash and moving it from one place to another, the employees of the solid waste industry are also pioneers in advancing technologies such as recycling, renewable and sustainable energy, and reduction of our dependence on fossil fuels.
The hard-working men and women in this industry deserve a bigger thank you from us than just our garbage on the curb week after week. Residents and businesses can also show support and appreciation for the people doing these dangerous yet important jobs this week by:
• Slowing down and paying extra attention when approaching, or passing a collection vehicle.
• Sharing a wrapped sweet treat or healthy snack
• Offering a cold bottle of water
• Giving him or her a tip with a personal “thank you”.
• Leaving a thank you note.
• Meeting your collector at the curb and help lift your load to show your awareness of their efforts.
• Following the provided guidelines for size and weight limitations and types of materials discarded in the regular trash.
• Properly disposing of hazardous materials, do not put them in the trash.
• Using more caution when putting harmful items in the trash such as glass or hot ashes.
• Considering ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle the things at home, school and work instead of throwing them in the garbage.
• Giving the landfill attendants a “high five.”
If you are interested in learning more about National Garbage Man Day, and how you can show your support, go to garbagemanday.org. You can also send your celebration ideas and photos to [email protected]