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On X this week, an uplifting video is making the rounds. The parent of a young boy compiled a set of clips of their local garbage truck coming through their neighborhood every week. In each, the driver makes sure to stop and greet the waiting child with a huge smile and big waves.

A blue and white toy garbage truck parked in left profile view
Toy garbage truck | y-studio via iStock

The friendship has been growing for years. The boy brings the crew drinks and hangs out while they catch up a bit. In one clip, the boy, as a toddler, excitedly turns in a circle and exclaims, “Here he comes!” He does this while clutching a toy truck. For the recent holiday season, the boy asked to do something more. So, in one clip, the parent preps a box of donuts and some gift cards. The boy is excited to present the gift, and the driver beams at the thoughtfulness.

During my years at a shop, the waste services truck driver was among the most skilled drivers I’d seen. We had a really crowded lot. The dumpster was all the way in the back, requiring some insane agility to collect the trash.

These roles keep our businesses and neighborhoods clean, and it’s no small or easy task. Operating a garbage truck requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL), crazy multitasking skills, and fine attention to detail.

These folks seldom get the recognition they’re due. As often as possible, I’d be sure to walk out of the service office to see if any cars needed to be moved out of his way. I’d ask how his day was going. At one point, the driver was brought to tears when I handed him some snacks and a bottle of water we had on hand for customers.

This video is a good reminder of how important small, positive interactions are for us and our communities. Now, as a parent of young children myself, we head to the front door when we hear the massive trucks coming around. My kids love to watch the skillful mobility of the crew and, of course, wave and get a good honk.