Keep your kids safe from service vehicles in your neighborhood

OREGON—The last bells of the school year have rang, which means more children will be at home on weekdays when delivery or service vehicles come through your neighborhood.

As a local service provider in your community, Waste Management of Oregon asks parents to talk with their children about being safe while playing outside and to ensure they watch for the company’s waste and recycling trucks from a safe distance.

“We’re proud to serve our local communities, and our drivers love to see their customers while they’re out on the routes, but we ask that parents and kids greet the drivers from the porch or the front yard,” said Adam Winston, Market Area manager of Waste Management of Oregon. “While sometimes it may appear that our trucks are stopped, they have a lot of moving parts that at any point could begin moving again. Our top priority is to provide good service in a safe manner, and our drivers frequently ask that we remind customers to stand a considerable distance away from the trucks so that everyone will be safe.”

While many trucks, particularly those that service residential neighborhoods, are equipped with cameras to see what is behind the truck, you should not rely on this feature for the driver to be able to see you or any of your possessions. It is always safest to stay away from the truck and all of its moving parts.

Following are a number of ways to be safe around service vehicles:

Every Waste Management truck is equipped with a back-up alarm. Whether you are walking or driving near a truck, if you hear this sound (a loud beeping) or see the white back-up lights, be sure to move out of the way.

Keep your children and pets at a safe distance from the truck. Never get near or climb on the truck—whether it is parked or operating. Do not play or stand in or around trash bins or cans, since you may not know when the truck is coming to empty them. On your collection day, be sure to move toys or cars out of the path of the truck and away from your collection containers.

Never cut in front of or stop suddenly in front of a Waste Management truck. In a residential neighborhood, it takes a garbage truck about twice as long to stop as a passenger car. Extend the same courtesies as you would to other drivers and keep a proper cushion of space between you and the truck.

Do not follow the truck on your bike, skates or skateboard. Trucks make frequent stops and often back up. While driving, pass slowly as soon as it is safe.

All of trucks are equipped with a radio or some kind of communication device that connects drivers to dispatch centers. If you are experiencing some type of emergency and need help, stand at a safe distance away and wave your arms to motion for help. Do not approach the truck unless the driver tells you it is safe to do so.

Many local Waste Management operations offer tours or community activities—contact your local service provider at (503) 249-8078 for additional information about how you and your family might have an opportunity to see a collection vehicle up close, while it is safely parked at the facility.

Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America. For more information about recycling, log on to

From the July 5-11, 2006, issue

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