City of Fresno Waste Collector Named National Driver of the Year

Robert Overton, a waste collector for the City of Fresno’s Solid Waste Management Division, will be honored in front of Council on Tuesday, June 24th at 8:30 a.m. The Environmental Industry Association named Overton 2008 Public Sector Driver of the Year. He was presented this prestigious award on May 6th of this year during a ceremony in Chicago as part of WasteExpo 2008, the waste industry’s national trade show.

Overton received this prestigious award for his impeccable driving record and community commitment. During his 10-year driving career, Overton has never had an accident or a citation, especially impressive considering the more than 20,000 miles driven and minimum of 270,000 trash pickups every year for the citizens of Fresno.

In March 2007, Overton had been given the “Award of Excellence” from the Environmental Industry Association after receiving praise from customers for his outstanding service. Making the selection, Environmental Industry Association President and CEO Bruce Parker commented, “Robert’s safety record, commitment to his employer, and quality of customer service has earned him a special distinction among drivers nationally. With over 150,000 garbage truck drivers on the road, earning a national Driver of the year award is quite an accomplishment.”

This award is particularly gratifying considering the many challenges waste collector’s deal with daily. Overton has dealt with thick fog, early-morning darkness, poor drivers, wandering animals, and unpredictable pedestrians, especially children. Overton keeps a close eye out for children who gravitate toward the bright colors, sound and size of his truck. On many occasions these admiring children will dash into the street to get a glimpse of Overton and his truck. Robert Overton’s focus and preparation have allowed him to avoid these dangers.

Director of Public Utilities Rene Ramirez notes, “This award provides positive national attention to the City of Fresno. Robert is a credit to his profession and the Department of Public Utilities is very proud of him.”