Waste Watch in Our Community

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There’s an extra set of watchful eyes in your community, coming from an unexpected source – your garbage man.

“A lot of us take a personal connection in our routes and to the customers we service and along with that is not just servicing their garbage but also anyway we can help those residents,” said Residential Driver with Waste Management, Joe Calhoun.

Called “Waste Watch” the program teaches drivers to keep their eyes and ears open while out on their normal route.

“Waste Watch is a program where we train our drivers with the cooperation of local police departments on what they could look out for to report to the police,” said Waste Management’s Security Director, Anthony Farneti. “The overall emphasis is if you see something, say something. There’s nothing so small that you shouldn’t call it in.”

Around 100 of Waste Management’s drivers recently went through the training, which entailed learning from Waste Management’s head of security, hearing personal stories from a detective with the Naperville Police Department and also taking a quiz.

“Occasionally we’ll see stuff out of place and that’s what the training was about. Being aware of what’s going on in your neighborhoods. We see more sometimes than the police officers do and they’re making us aware of that and they want us to call in and report anything. Better safe than sorry,” said Calhoun.

This training is done at Waste Management facilities around the country, and has been taught for over ten years – with new insights gained at each session.

“We don’t want them to be vigilantes, but we want them to have another set of eyes for the community,” said Senior District Manager for the Illinois Southwest Facility, Christopher Disbrow. “Our vehicles are out very early in the morning, anywhere from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and typically crime happens in the middle of the night, so do we have another set of eyes. When we put approximately ten trucks in every community at those times that can be quite helpful and we see things that perhaps people don’t see.”

Keeping neighborhoods not only clean, but also safe.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.