Samantha Barreiro Focuses on the ‘Human’ in Human Resources

Samantha Barreiro, regional HR manager at Waste Pro Central Florida, keeps strong relationships with her team and focuses on the 'human' part of human resources.

Gage Edwards, Content Producer

June 26, 2023

3 Min Read

Meeting new people in the waste industry is always interesting to me, and something I find the most interesting is how that person got here, today, in the waste industry. If I had to guess, I would say that 98 out of 100 people I meet tell me they never thought they would be in the waste industry.

Today’s interview follows that same trend but now, Samantha Barreiro ushering in a new wave of waste industry players who will likely have the same story.

Barreiro, HR regional manager for Waste Pro in Central Florida, got her start in the waste industry while she was attending school at Florida Gulf Coast University. While studying Biology, Barreiro began working at Waste Pro where she fell in love with the industry. So much so that she changed her major to Business Management and began working her way up in the company.

As an HR manager, Barreiro says that every day is different as she is involved in several different aspects of the business to truly connect and partner with her team. It’s clear to me that it’s important for Barreiro to be involved with her teams and be a friendly face for everyone who walks through Waste Pro’s doors. 

“On any given day I could be in the post-trip lane greeting the team as they come in, at a job fair with one of our outreach partners finding the next best and brightest waste professional, or meeting with a division manager about their employment trends,” said Barreiro.

“I truly aim to be a more ‘human’ resource for the team I support, and I try to make that the focus each day.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the waste industry faced an uphill battle with a staggering labor shortage, but Barreiro and her team jumped right it to take care of their own. Barreiro recalls working with outreach organizations to help displaced workers find jobs and kept the process rolling when it came to recruiting.

“We truly built a team and quickly realized we were better together.  That’s how we were able to tackle [the labor shortage],” said Barreiro.

Through continuous hard work, a warm attitude, and making sure to keep the ‘human’ part of Human Resources important, Barreiro’s peers nominated her for a 40 Under 40 award which took her by surprise.

“It felt amazing to win the 40 under 40 award. Even to be nominated was such an honor,” said Barreiro. “In year’s past when I read the announcements of that year’s winners I thought, “how great would that be to be selected as one of the 40 under 40,” and here I am! Humbled and honored.”

Barreiro’s first 13 years in the industry have been a complete success as she continues to put her teams first and make everyone feel important at Waste Pro. Barreiro says that she’s looking forward to continuing her career at Waste Pro and seeing what great things the industry has to offer next.

“I didn’t think that I would be in this industry, but I’m so glad that I am and that I’ve made a career out of it.  Grateful for 13 years and looking forward to the next 13,” said Barreiro.

About the Author(s)

Gage Edwards

Content Producer, Waste360

Gage Edwards is a Content Producer at Waste360 and seasoned video editor.

Gage has spent the better part of 10 years creating content in various industries but mostly revolving around video games.

Gage loves video games, theme parks, and loathes littering.

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