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Driver Incentive Programs

By CHRISTIE MURPHY posted 08-12-2020 08:40 AM

Hi,  I have been on the municipal side of the Solid Waste industry for 17 years.  I have worn many hats during this time, with the last 3.5 years being in management.  There are so many challenges that we encompass each day, as many others do, I'm sure.  Because the industry seems to have such a huge turnaround with drivers/helpers due to the pay and/or nature of the job, I feel it hard to build a good reliable team.  We collect solid waste 5 days a week, between trash, recycle yard waste and bulk for just over 4K residents.  We seem to have quite a bit of missed collections each day, drivers who call out often, drivers who just want to drive and go home and don't tend to look further than the steering wheel but want to complain about the contamination or cart issues. 

I'm sure this is most likely across the board but I would love to hear from others and how you deal with these situations and possibly incentive programs or other measures besides continual reprimand.

I look forward to hearing back from you! Thanks

Christie Murphy
City of Milford, Delaware
Solid Waste and Facilities Supervisor



10-14-2020 02:56 PM

Hi Christie - we find the same difficulties over here. We seem to have job openings 365. There are a few things we do with our drivers, though I'm not sure we call them incentives. More so ways that we make them feel like they are part of a team that cares for them.
  • We hold quarterly awards where we recognize the drivers with the best attendance and safety records, as well as peer nominated awards. The quarterly awards usually are part of a breakfast or lunch that is provided to the team, with the supervisors in charge of serving/cooking.
  • We give turkeys to each team member for Thanksgiving
  • We hold cookouts every couple months, with games and small prizes
  • Sometimes during tailgate meetings, we provide snacks/drinks/small items
Hopefully that helps give you some ideas!

09-29-2020 03:52 PM

I share the same challenges. However, being a municipality we are constrained by what we can do to "incentivize". We do have an "awards closet" when an employee that goes above and beyond, not just doing what is expected, gets nominated for a "trip to the closet."
We have items like caps, mugs, backpacks, pen sets, day planners, etc...

08-26-2020 12:38 AM

Hello Christie,

did anyone reach out for any recommendations