The Washington State Recycling and Refuse Association (WRRA) recently presented Ops Manager Don Z. with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Don has spent 50 years in the industry and 17 years at Republic Services.
Don started his career as a teenage helper. Once he got his driver’s license, he began driving routes and learning the business. His reputation for efficient management and effective leadership grew along with his career over the years. Don went from being a driver to supervising drivers, to managing residential and commercial lines of business, to overseeing transfer and intermodal stations, to now managing the largest Materials Recovery Facility West of the Mississippi River. The facility processes an average of over 750 tons of recyclables per day.
Don is also a key community leader. His tours of the recycling facility are uniquely helpful for our industry colleagues, policy makers and even school-aged children just beginning to learn about recycling and environmental sustainability. His front-line stories about the good, the bad, and the ugly of what he’s seen in the recycling stream are not easily forgotten.
When you ask Don what keeps him motivated after all these years in the industry, his response is simple, “It’s the people, the technology, and the constant change in the recycling world. I love my job and like what I’m doing every day. This industry is just cool and I learn something new all the time.”
Thank you for your lifetime of service, Don!