Dave Black hasn’t called out sick in more than 30 years. Born and raised in Atlanta, Dave got an early start in the waste industry by spending summers working with his father, who owned three waste/sanitation companies in the 1970s.
After formally beginning his career as a garbage truck driver in 1981 with Waste Management, Dave relocated to Florida in 1987 working for BFI in St. Augustine. He spent 16 years with the company before joining Waste Pro as a roll-off driver in Palm Coast, FL in 2003.
“When I was a kid, I never would have imagined I wanted to be a garbage man when I grew up, but the fact of the matter is it keeps me busy,” Dave says. “I’ve never been fired, I’ve never been laid off, it’s a pretty steady type of work.”
Each day, Dave gets into work at 5:15 a.m. and works up to 11 hours. In January, he earned his third $10,000 Safety Award. He previously won in 2007 and 2013.
The last time he called out sick from a job, Dave says, was in 1981 when he had a serious bacterial infection. “People just look at me like I’m crazy. That’s not to say that I’ve never been sick, it’s just never been serious enough. I’m not going to take off work for a cold. God has blessed me with good health and a good work ethic.”
One of his favorite things about Waste Pro, Dave says, is the consistency within management. He said in previous jobs, managers and supervisors came and went; at Waste Pro, he’s worked with the same people for several years and has gotten to know the management in Palm Coast well, on a professional and a personal level.
“Good relationships and a good attitude are everything. If you come in here with a bad attitude, you’re not going to work here. You can’t be a slacker or a whiner and you can’t let stuff bother you,” Dave says.
When Dave isn’t behind the wheel of his roll-off truck, he likes spending time with his family and riding his 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Boy, as well as going to the beach, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and hiking.