J.P. Phillips: Garbage collectors keep state healthy and beautiful -Waste and Recycling Workers Week

Waste Haulers & Recyclers Association of West Virginia

The Independent Waste Haulers and Recyclers of West Virginia are your hometown trash and recycling collection service. We are the companies located right here in West Virginia that take away the things you throw away to recycling centers, landfills and alternative use sites. We serve both Main Street and the rural back roads of our mountainous state. We are the first line of defense to a healthy community.

June 17th is deemed Waste and Recycling Workers Week, a day that begins a week-long celebration of the men and women in our local communities who work to keep each of us and the environment safe.

The local trash companies that operate in the Mountain State are made up of many dedicated garbage men and women who serve as the first line of defense to a healthy community, and they understand the importance of the service they provide. Do you appreciate the work of your local garbage men and women and the locally-owned companies that employ them?

These individuals are dedicated to serving both Main Street and the rural back roads of our mountainous state, whether commercial or residential. Without these local companies and their understanding of our state’s geological landscape and waste management needs, residents living in rural areas would be left to their own devices when it comes to waste removal. These companies and their employees know the history of waste management or the lack thereof in this state and what would happen if they were not working to combat potential public health problems that can accompany illegal dumping.

Throughout the 20th Century, West Virginia worked to form solutions to waste management issues and to develop an effective system to oversee trash removal services that provides the greatest benefit to public health. Before the policies, programs and laws of today’s West Virginia waste management industry were put in place, there was a real problem with hillside and river dumping in rural areas. It’s still a problem today, but not to the extreme that it was or could be again.

That is why the knowledge, experience, and devotion our local garbage employees provide is so valuable to our communities. Because of them, our rivers, hills, and hollows can remain beautiful and free of trash. And, our communities can rest assured that their trash will be picked up and responsibly hauled away, ensuring healthier, cleaner communities for all.

Not only do they provide curbside service to everyone in the state, but these companies and their employees are also dedicated to maintaining pickup schedules – whether in rain, snow, sleet, scorching heat, or freezing temperatures. These men and women get up before the sun and do everything they can to provide timely and quality service for their customers. They work to make sure everyone’s trash, whether in town or beyond city limits, is picked up and hauled away, even when Mother Nature is working against them.

In certain situations, their own safety and well-being is on the line so that their promise to their communities can be fulfilled. These local companies and their employees strive to collect, transport, and dispose of trash ethically and responsibly so that individuals do not have to. And, they do that to the best of their ability every day – except on certain holidays because they have the day off. Even garbage men and women need a break.

The garbage employees of West Virginia get to participate and work under such a unique system and within an industry that greatly benefits all of our local communities. The service these garbage men and women provide funds recycling programs in some cases when these types of programs are not supported by local political subdivisions. They ensure that residential trash rates are affordable because everyone has access to these services. And, they are normally among the first to participate in any community outreach asked of them, because they probably know the little league team coach or community event organizer asking for volunteers or funding. These men and women work in the communities where they live and raise their families and they are invested in those communities which makes them invested in the future of West Virginia as a whole.

Although working for different locally owned companies perhaps, these employees are united as a team with a common purpose, as it takes many garbage men and women to provide the quality and dependable waste management service that West Virginia communities and the surrounding environment deserve. So, on Waste and Recycling Workers Week, think of where our beautiful state would be without our local, hometown garbage collecting services and the men and women that make them possible.

JP Phillips is president of the Independent Waste Haulers and Recyclers Association of West Virginia, based in Charleston. He can be contacted [email protected].