DERIDDER — Three-year-old Colby Woodard is a big fan of the two Progressive Waste Management workers who collect the trash at his house.
His mother, Jessica Woodard, said Colby waits on the front porch each Thursday morning and cheers on the workers as they do their job.
“They just make his day. He hears them coming from down the road and he gets so excited,” Woodard said. “As soon as the truck comes over the hill in front of our house the two men start honking and waving to him, and he loves it.”
Woodard said she contacted Progressive Waste manager Patrick Smyth to let him know how much she appreciated those employees, and Smyth said that made a big impact on him and the workers.
“You know, usually when we get calls it is to let us know that someone’s trash got skipped or something, but to get an email just to say ‘thank you’ was great,” he said.
Smyth acknowledged the two men in a recent safety meeting and then decided to also acknowledge their tiny fan with a token of appreciation.
“I thought that he might like some toy trucks, specifically some trash trucks,” Smyth said. “I got with site manager James Willis to be sure that we got them to the driver and ground man on that truck to give to him.”
Driver James Williams said it was a great feeling seeing Colby get excited over his new toys when he and ground man Tim Knight presented them to him.
“That was a great day,” Williams said. “It’s a hard job that we do, and it makes us all happy for someone to compliment us on the work that we do.”
Earlier in the year, the duo also gained praise when they saved the life of another route client after finding the elderly man unconscious on the ground outside his home.
“I could see him from the road and knew something was not right, so we drove up his driveway to check on him,” Williams said.
Once Williams and Knight reached the man, Williams said he immediately saw he had a bloody head wound and ran for help.
“I saw the blood and knew it was bad, so I ran into the fields where his son was on a tractor and told him what had happened,” he said.
Emergency responders were called to the scene and the elderly man survived.
Smyth said Williams and Knight are a great example of being a true part of the community.
“I am happy to see that we people are acknowledging the hard work that these men and others do as well, because they do a great job out there.”