NWRA announced its 2022 Drivers of the Year and Operator of the Year winners. The awards recognize the drivers and an operator from member companies who put safety as their top priority. “Driver safety and retention are key indicators of the health of the industry. This year’s winners not only exhibit their dedication to the industry but an unsurpassed safety record. Congratulations to all of the winners,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

The Operator of the Year award is for employees working in post-collection for a materials recovery facility, landfill or transfer station who safely operate heavy equipment, including bulldozers, front-end loaders and compactors.

The Driver of the Year awards are for those drivers who operate their trucks in a safe and responsible manner, have outstanding performance records and whose contributions have enhanced the overall safety and image of the solid waste industry.

The finalists were determined by a computerized scoring system. Independent judges selected the winners based on letters of recommendation and, for drivers, the difficulty of the route. During judging, operators were also judged on the difficulty of their equipment to operate. This year, a tie occurred in the following categories: National Residential and Regional Industrial.

The 2022 Driver of the Year Awardees
National Commercial – Frank Epps, Republic Services, Inc.
National Industrial – Jason Tavares, Republic Services, Inc.
National Residential – Kevin Johnston, Republic Services, Inc.; Richard Denshuick, Republic Services, Inc.

Regional Commercial – Ricardo Arredondo, Recology
Regional Industrial – Howard Kattine, Rumpke; Willard Wells, Rumpke
Regional Residential – Harvinder Dhatt, Recology

Local Member – Mike Charpentier, Veit Vonco

Public Sector – Chuck Orencole, Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling

2022 Operator of the Year Awardee
John A. Pogue, WM

NWRA would like to recognize the judges who gave generously of their time to review each of the applications. The 2022 judges are:

Adele Abrams, Law Office of Adele L. Abrams, P.C.
Adrienne Gildea, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Chris Greissing, Industrial Minerals Association North America
Drew Mitrisin, Burns & McDonnell
Ellen Voie, Women in Trucking
Jeana Hysell, J.J. Keller
Joseph Casper, Brick Industry Association
Kevin Kraushaar, J. Warren Associates, LLC
Noah Budnick, Together for Safer Roads
Richard Watson, Delaware Solid Waste Authority
Steve Ralston, Ashley Furniture
Tom Moore, National Private Truck Council

For more information, visit www.wasterecycling.org.