Follow these seasonal tips for a smoother garbage collection – for you and your hauler

Oct. 26, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by Novak Sanitary Service.

Whether it’s a bag of leaves or – sadly, it’s coming – a pile of snow, these can be dangerous seasons for your garbage hauler.

Businesses and homeowners can do their part to help, though.

“It’s a relationship,” said Mike Keeran, Novak’s new operations manager. “We need to help each other, so our employees stay safe and so they can provide the best possible service to our customers.”

Here are some easy ways you can help trash collection go smoothly and safely.

Watch your yard waste

Fall cleanup is in full swing thanks to some wild weather earlier this month.

“We had the hard freeze, the snow, and then it warmed right up, so half the trees dropped all their leaves,” Keeran said. “Don’t bag it too tightly. Don’t overpack the containers. When you do, we run into issues where they won’t dump completely, and we have a hard time getting them empty and ready to go for customers.”

And keep that bagged yard waste dry. Don’t move paper bags into the elements until they’re ready to be picked up.

“They get soggy if it’s wet, we go to pick them up and they make a mess on the ground,” Keeran said. “Place your bags somewhere they won’t get wet until service day, or wait until just before service day to collect and bag your leaves. That helps us make it a lot more presentable when we pick up all their bags of leaves.”

Winter warnings

Once the snow and ice hit, new hazards arise for haulers.

Injuries can occur when servicing containers, from pulled shoulders to falls on ice.

“If we get more than an inch of snow, please get the space around containers scooped out,” Keeran said. “Put some salt down to get ice melted so we can safely get the containers out.”

Businesses that use contracted snow-removal services should communicate that to them, he added.

“Make sure they aren’t plowing the snow into piles in front of our enclosures,” he said. “We ran into that a lot last year, and by the time it freezes up, we have to chip it out to pull the enclosures out.”

Make sure garbage is bagged and container lids stay closed to avoid frozen garbage.

“Especially liquids – contain those the best you can,” Keeran said. “Nobody wants a frozen garbage mess in a can.”

When winter weather closes schools, Novak crews often are delayed a day too, general manager Mike Herbst said.

“We will communicate when service is pushed back a day, but any delays in service are solely related to the safety of our staff and community. If we have to delay service, it’s because we don’t want our people on the roads having any incidents.”

Now hiring

A growing city has meant more business for Novak, which is hiring two more route drivers. If you know someone who might be interested, here’s more information. 

“With our current unemployment rate, we’ve had challenges like everybody, but we’ve seen our way through it and really think this is a great place to work,” Herbst said.

“We’ve had a lot of internal referrals and drivers who joined the team because their friends work here and like the environment we’re creating. As leadership, we put our people at the forefront of our mind, and then they in turn provide phenomenal customer service on the street.”

Follow these seasonal tips for a smoother garbage collection – for you and your hauler

Whether it’s a bag of leaves or – sadly, it’s coming – a pile of snow, these can be dangerous seasons for your garbage hauler. Some simple reminders can do a lot to help.

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