'Waste Watch' to start in Manatee County

rdymond@bradenton.comMarch 6, 2013 

MANATEE -- Six days a week in Manatee County, 60 Waste Management truck drivers rumble to 40,610 homes and 2,745 businesses to pick up waste and items to be recycled.

That's a lot of eyes looking out on familiar territory.

And that's exactly why Waste Management, a Houston-based company, started Waste Watch, where company drivers can alert their dispatch if something suspicious is seen.

Waste Management has announced it will begin a Waste Watch program in Manatee County starting Wednesday.

The company is working with law enforcement agencies in the parts of Manatee County it services, said Amy Boyson, a Waste Management spokeswoman.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office and police departments from Holmes Beach, Longboat Key and Palmetto have joined the effort.

The city of Bradenton has its own waste removal program and is not served by Waste Management, Boyson said. Also, other parts of Manatee are serviced by another company, Waste Pro.

"The fact that we will have 60 more people are looking out means we can respond to more incidents," said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.

"They have employees who are out on the roads constantly and out at different times of the day," said Dave Bristow, a sheriff's office spokesman. "We think it will be extremely helpful as they go through neighborhoods to call law enforcement if they see something. You see Waste Management trucks from early morning to late at night."

"It gives us another set of eyes," said Lt. Lorenzo Waiters of the sheriff's office.

Waste Management is the largest lease provider in North America with 42,000 employees in just about every state, Boyson said.

Waste Management drivers will have cell phones to call their dispatch if they see something unusual.

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