Letter: Waste Watch boosts safety | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Waste Watch boosts safety

When most people see their waste and recycling being picked up, they rarely think here comes our local police backup. But local police now have backup in keeping our community safe as well as clean.

Waste Management drivers were trained on Aug. 23 to identify and report suspicious or criminal activity while on their routes. This program gives drivers an additional opportunity to serve our community by supporting first responders.

Lt. Chris Wurtsmith from the Carbondale Police Department and Kris Spilsbury from Waste Management corporate security trained all 20 local drivers through a program called Waste Watch.

Waste Management conducts 15-20 Waste Watch trainings each year across the United States and Canada.

“Drivers are encouraged to notice things such as open doors, suspicious activity or odd items,” says Spilsbury. “We hope our drivers can become an extra set of eyes and ears in the community”

Earlier this year, WM driver Jorge Carballo saved Pamela Paresky’s Aspen home from a gas leak. After hearing the hissing gas and smelling the leak, Carballo quickly notified officials who shut the gas off and saved the home.

“Their trucks are on our streets every day and their drivers are familiar with the routes, so they’re often the first ones to notice when something is going on” says Lt. Wurtsmith. “Training these drivers not only makes our community safer, but it makes us stronger.”

Enrico Dominguez

Communications specialist, Waste Management