Expecting driver shortage, Waste Management recruiting garbage women

KING

She is not your stereotypical garbage man.

Mostly because she's a woman.

"When people realize there's a woman behind the wheel, I get a lot of double-takes," said Lindsey Leitch.

Leitch is equal parts tomboy and girly girl, right down to her pink Waste Management helmet.

"Yes, I drive a garbage truck," she said, "but pink is my favorite color."

Leitch is the new face of Waste Management.

She's a married mother of two behind the wheel of a 40,000-pound garbage truck who grapples with the same issues every mom does.

While she's great at picking up other people's trash, she has trouble getting her own kids to pick up their rooms.

"They have to clean their rooms every night before they go to bed,  but some nights are easier than others," she laughed.

Waste Management is facing a shortage of about 175,000 drivers across North America over the next seven years.

The company is hoping to hire as many women as possible to expand their workforce. Women only make up 11 percent of the company's ranks. Snohomish County is an exception, where Leitch is one of five Waste Management women currently working the routes.

"Bringing more women into our workforce strengthens us," said company spokeswoman Jackie Lang. "It makes us a smarter, better team."

The jobs offer family wages and benefits. Leitch, however, says the best rewards come from people along her route who appreciate her trashing of stereotypes.

"One woman ran out with her daughter to tell me I was her daughter's hero," she said. "That's a really good feeling knowing young women are looking up to me."

As for the work, itself, technology has made it much easier both on the back and the nose.

"Pretty much everything is automated," said Leitch, "and I don't come home stinking like a trash can!"


© 2017 KING-TV


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