Random Acts of Kindness Through Waste

Waste Management Driver StephenStephen lining the carts with compostable bags Have you noticed your Facebook friends capturing random acts of kindness? Well if you haven’t – you can be the first. I have friends that walk elderly people across the street, pay for the person behind them in the coffee line and even mail scratch tickets to their in-laws. What some people don’t realize – is that how you throw your waste out could also be an act of kindness.

In March, I did a ride-along with Kirkland’s Waste Management commercial organics driver, Steven. He’s new to this route and I wanted to get to know him, his job, and learn more about the route. He has over 180 stops and replaces about 250 compostable cart liners.  He is a genuinely nice guy and does a good job.

Garbage dumpster surrounded by liter, very dirty.Garbage and bulky items left next to recycle cartsHere is how you can pay it forward and show random acts of kindness to Steven:

  • Watch out for collection vehicles and let them in during your commute. They may seem slow, but trust me – they are in a bigger hurry than you. They have a lot of stops to make and try really hard to avoid traffic and stay out of your way. It is really frustrating when cars are moving just slow enough so that they can’t merge into traffic. Flash your lights, slow down, and wave them in.
  • Put the right stuff in the right cart. Confused on what goes where? Take a look at our recycling guide, take a photo and send it to recycle@kirklandwa.gov or put it in the trash until you get the right answer. Although Steven doesn’t have the time to sort through your compost cart, he does try to pick out the obvious stuff that should not be in your cart.
  • Keep your trash and recycling area clean. Clean up litter, avoid illegal dumping, and be sensitive to where your storm drains are located.

Thank you!