Bellevue, Wash. - Many communities are discovering that refuse trucks also can be traveling bill boards. In Bellevue, Wash., for example, a local collection company and the city police department are helping add visibility to two community programs: Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R..E.).
"The message of these programs is that everypart of the community is involved with kids," said John Caputo, manager of Eastside Disposal and Recycling, one of the participants in the program. "From the parent who sends them off to school everyday, to the police officer who goes into the classroom to teach, to the people who come to the curb to pick up their garbage and recycling. The whole community is interested in the welfare and future of Bellevue's young people."
The Eastside Disposal and Recycling Co. has painted two of its residential recycling collection trucks with G.R.E.A.T.'s information and one garbage collection truck with D.A.R.E.'s information. All three trucks will route through the Bellevue community daily.
The newest of the programs, G.R.E.A.T., brings police officers into school systems to educate students about the dangers of gang life.
"In a time of dwindling tax dollars, the only way programs like this can be successful is with the support of communities and local businesses," said Bob Wuorenma, detective lieutenant of the Bellevue police department.