Person in your neighborhood: Recycling truck driver

Person in your neighborhood: Recycling truck driver »Play Video
Spencer Wilkinson, recycle driver for Lane Apex, empties a recycling container.

EUGENE, Ore. - Residential recycling is a prominent practice in Eugene.

But how does the recycling get from our houses to the plant?

There are many jobs that are understated and ‘behind-the-scenes’ in a community. The men and women in those fields deserve recognition for silently keeping our community going without the motivation of praise and applause.

Being a recycle driver for Lane Apex is just such a job, and Spencer Wilkinson performs his job with dedication to the community and to his family.

What motivated you to join this field of work?

I was long-haul driving and I wanted to get off the road. I wanted to spend more time with my family.

How long were you long-haul driving for?

About a year.

Why did you stop long haul driving?

I stopped because of my two boys and my wife. I wasn’t seeing them.

Describe a typical day on your job.

Get up, get dressed, drive, get to work, clock in, get all my route sheets, check if I have any cut-offs, get into the truck, make sure I have all of my fluids, get out on the route around 7 o’clock, then start picking up cans.

How many days a week do you pick up cans on those routes?

About four days a week.

What compels you to get up early in the morning to perform this job?

Money for my family; to support my kids and my wife.

If everyone in your field stopped working or went on strike, what impact would that have on the community?

They would have to get up and do it themselves; take time out of their day. It would take a while for them to get use to it. It might work in a positive way for recycling, knowing what to recycle and what not to.

What is the best part about you job?

I don’t have someone breathing down my neck. I am outside exercising; I am not stuck behind a desk.

Do you see this job as your future or would you like to pursue a different career?

Probably pursue a different career later on down the road.

What is your ideal job?

I was a volunteer firefighter for six years, so either that or a policeman.