JobsNow: Picking up trash could be a good-paying job with benefits

JobsNOW

(WKBN) – Once a week, your garbage gets picked up at the curb. A local waste hauling company is looking for more drivers to pick up the trash.

Republic Services has 185 employees.

“They pick up anywhere from 400 to 800 homes a day. A lot of the trucks are manual or they’re automated…The arms do a lot of the work for you,” said Republic Services General Manager Brent Bowker.

“It’s self-explanatory. You’ve seen the truck go up and down the road. That’s what we do Monday through Friday,” said Tony Jones, a driver.

But there’s a little more to it than just driving a truck and picking up garbage. Drivers have to hop out in every weather condition and may need to grab up to 40 pounds of items not in a trash can.

They drive from the right side of the cab and never cross the road. A Class B CDL license is needed.

Drivers typically work 8- to 10-hour days. Federal laws say they can’t work over 60 hours a week.

“Our drivers are either paid by the stop — which means for every stop they get picked up, they get an incentive rate that way –or there’s a minimum day rate at a minimum. There’s no maximum on what they can make,” Bowker said.

Jones wanted to be a driver since he was a little kid. He and his father have almost 50 years in the company.

It’s a career in which the starting pay can work out to $40,000 or $50,000 a year.

“There’s not a lot of jobs around here that pay that well with the benefits we have starting out,” Bowker said.

The job can be very independent. The days of two people on a garbage truck are basically gone, but that doesn’t mean the career is dead.

Bowker started as a driver and worked his way up to management.

“We have about 36,000 employees across the country. So you come to work in Youngstown, eventually you want to leave, you can always transfer to a different state. That’s one of the nice things about working for a large corporation,” he said.

Republic Services is taking part in a truck driving career fair next week. It’s happening Thursday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boardman Library.

You’ll be able to talk with employers who are hiring and schools offering CDL training, as well as fill out an application. It’s a great way to start down the road to a driving career.

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JobsNOW is a joint initiative between WKBN and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

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