Be safe around garbage trucks

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2022

WM, previously Waste Management, reminds the public that professional garbage truck drivers want to maintain a safe environment for students traveling to and from school.

Motorists sometimes try to get around school buses and garbage trucks, neither of which tends to be safe. Both vehicles slow traffic while performing necessary duties and are at risk of accidents if drivers are distracted.

“Safety is one of our core values. Keeping everyone — including customers, drivers and those in our community — safe is our top priority,” said WM Safety Manager Tony Franco. “As we begin the new school year, WM encourages drivers to take precautionary measures in order to keep our families, team members and students safe on the road.”

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Suggested safety tips:

• Keep at least 15 feet away from garbage trucks. Never climb on them.

• Garbage trucks make frequent stops and often back up, so do not follow too closely while walking, running, biking or skating. Stay alert and listen for the back-up alarm sounds. If you hear back-up alarms or see white back-up lights, move out of the way.

• Visibility is restricted for the driver in several areas. If you cannot see the driver’s eyes, they most likely cannot see you.

• Service vehicles take about twice as long to stop as a passenger car. Always keep a safe distance.

Every year, schools produce millions of tons of waste that could either be recycled or reused, from paper to discarded cafeteria food. WM offers the following green tips for parents and students:

• Reduce trash created by disposable bags, sandwich bags and foil by packing lunches in washable, reusable lunch boxes, bags and containers.

• Keep in mind that whole fruits and vegetables are healthier snacks and better for the environment that packaged snacks.

• Instead of buying individually-wrapped snacks, buy the larger size and pack snacks in reusable containers to save money and the environment.

• When buying new supplies, consider paper and notebooks made from recycled paper as these eco-friendly supply options are available at many large retailers.