'Since I've been in Peoria, these are the worst conditions I've seen' garbage truck driver reflects on work in cold

By WEEK Reporter

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 7, 2014 at 11:56 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria Disposal Company resumed trash collection Tuesday, after closing operations Monday due to extreme weather. About 15 PDC crews were out today picking up the trash.

"Go get the toter, put it on the toter dumper and then dump the garbage," explained PDC driver Jason Brown.

He had to do that more than 600 times. His route through northern Peoria had that many households. Early afternoon he had already picked up quite a bit.

"Probably about 5 tons," said Brown.

It was about 5 degrees outside. But Tuesday was arguably better than the day before. Monday PDC operations were closed.

"When you have a snow plow out that's trying to clear the road and a garbage truck on the road, those are not good combinations to have together," said PDC spokesman Eric Shangraw. "So one of the reasons we kept everyone in yesterday besides the bitter weather was that this would give the snow plows a full day to do their job."

As of Tuesday, PDC was up and running.

"Monday customers will be serviced on Tuesday. Tuesday customers will be serviced on Wednesday and that pattern follows for the rest of the week," said Shangraw.

Despite the weather, PDC crews will be out there picking up the trash. Typically PDC asks that residents leave their trash on the curb, however, during conditions similar to Tuesday, they ask that residents leave their garbage by the street. PDC officials indicated that this would be much easier for their drivers to access the toters.

PDC also gives its drivers snow cleats and warm gloves. However, Brown's best tool is his attitude.

"I don't think about the cold," said Brown. "If I thought about it that much then I probably couldn't do this job."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.