Operations Controller/Route Manager

US Air Force, O-3

I started on February 2 with Cleanscapes, a small garbage and recycling company in Seattle. This job is by far the most rewarding job I've ever had. I have a team of drivers varying from four to 15. Prior to the beginning a large contract, my responsibilities included overhauling the new company location in preparation of the arrival of almost 100 garbage trucks, managing the delivery of 8,294 13-gallon yard waste cans to Seattle, and planning and managing the re-labeling and re-stickering of 178,000 residential carts in the city to inform them of the new waste procedures and their new service day.

My day-to-day schedule goes like this: I start work each day at about 6:15 am. When I get there, I meet with my team and discuss any delivery issues, and I prepare regular continuing training. Once everyone is out the door and doing their deliveries, I update payroll and update the data management system with completed delivery tickets. Often, I set out and audit several sites and verify their service level matches the containers they have. We have a weekly staff meeting, and I meet bi-weekly with city inspectors, and as often as needed with our suppliers (almost always over coffee or lunch). I am always in touch, via phone, direct connect, radio, or email with the other route managers, city inspectors, suppliers, my drivers, and ops control.

In performing my job, I’ve faced several challenges: manpower, truckpower, inventory, weather, poor data, and limited time frames. My team and I have overcome every one. Also, some interesting parts of the position are that I manage the complete inventory of plastic garbage cans and steel dumpsters for Seattle and Shoreline, over 1,000 steel and 5,000 plastic, to include ordering, repairing, scrapping, cleaning, moving, and counting. I currently have a team of nine people using a fleet of four stinger trucks and four delivery vans. I manage their hours, discipline, and efficiency. I never thought I’d love being a “garbage man,” but I do.