Top-Notch Drivers

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) is pleased to recognize seven garbage truck drivers for outstanding service to their companies and the industry.

  • Large Commercial Category: Cleotha Williams Jr., Republic Services Inc., Henderson, Nev.

    Cleotha Williams has been driving a garbage truck for Republic Services for the last 19 years without an accident. He is greatly respected by his customers, especially around the holidays when loads increase. One customer wrote, “I would like to go on record as saying Cleo is the best driver that I have ever had the pleasure of servicing our business.” Williams says, “I'm inspired by customer appreciation — when a customer calls to say I'm doing a good job or they come out and say, ‘Thanks.’”

  • Large Industrial Category: Billy Hurst, Waste Management Inc., Indianapolis

    Billy Hurst has been driving for Waste Management Inc. for 27 years without an accident. The company has received numerous compliments from customers about him. He always shows up to work early to perform a thorough pre-trip inspection and keeps careful records of safety issues. “I take my job and safety as a challenge, and I like to win,” Hurst says. “My step-dad was in the trash business, and he taught me to be patient.”

  • Large Residential Category: Lawrence Green, IESI Corp., Haltom City, Texas

    Lawrence Green has been a residential truck driver for 24 years, the last 8 years with IESI, without an accident. The mayor of Colleyville, where Green runs his route, wrote a letter that he “sets quite an example for his co-workers as well as for the entire community.” Green says, “I smile, and the customers smile, and my days go by good. I just focus on what I do, and keep my eyes and my mind going. I enjoy life.”

  • Public Sector Category: Ronald Lilly, Town of Gilbert, Ariz.

    Ron Lilly has been driving garbage trucks for Gilbert, Ariz., for nearly 13 years without an accident. For the last two years, he has won first place in the Solid Waste Association of North America's state truck rodeo competition. “I learned how to operate heavy trucks through my dad and his back hoe business, but what I really enjoy is the small-town approach that allows me to drive trucks that are in great condition,” Lilly says.

  • Small Commercial Category: Kenneth Hewson, Northern Sanitation Inc., Plattsburgh, N.Y.

    Kenny Hewson has been driving a garbage truck for Northern Sanitation Inc. for nearly 36 years without an accident. All of the employees of the firm signed Hewson's Driver of the Year application attesting to the service he has provided to the company. Hewson says, “Being a nice guy and helping people is greater than my goals. If people don't like you, you'll have all kinds of problems.”

  • Small Industrial Category, Pat Sheahan, Marengo Disposal Co., Marengo, Ill.

    Pat Sheahan has been driving garbage trucks for nearly 21 years at Marengo Disposal Co. without any accidents. Several times, he has earned his company's Employee of the Month award. “When you take pride in what you do, it shows in your performance,” Sheahan says. “Good driving is a no-brainer — I don't want to get hurt, and I don't want to hurt anyone else.”

  • Small Residential Category, James Hickson, Arena Trucking Co., Rice, Va.

    James Hickson has been driving a garbage truck for Arena Trucking Co. for 29 years without an accident. He has a very simple approach to driving a garbage truck, looking both ways when he pulls into traffic and ensuring that he arrives at the customer's property on schedule. “By working for a garbage company, I can be near home and also enjoy being on the road, so I stay out of trouble and drive carefully,” Hickson says.

Alice Jacobsohn is director of public affairs and education at the Environmental Industry Associations. Contact her at [email protected].