Republic Services of Stockton is pleased to announce that local resident, and 28-year waste collection driver, Efren “Fernando” Lopez received the prestigious Driver of the Year award in the large residential category. The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) celebrates the industry’s best drivers each year with the recognition based on their exemplary customer service and safety records. Mr. Lopez was honored this morning in Las Vegas at WasteExpo, North America’s largest annual industry tradeshow.
“We prioritize safety above all else,” said Kevin Basso, general manager of Republic Services of Stockton. “We take pride in recognizing employees who demonstrate a relentless commitment to safety. Fernando represents the very best in our people, programs and practices, and he embodies our commitment to customers and the communities we serve. On behalf of all our employees, I am proud to congratulate Fernando and his family on this extraordinary recognition.”
Mr. Lopez was selected out of more than 1,000 driver nominations submitted by industry peers from across the country. Since 2009, Republic Services drivers have earned this top honor 16 out of 21 times in the large company categories.
“I am grateful to be recognized in this way and join the group of professional drivers honored each year,” said Mr. Lopez. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to make a difference for my customers and the community I am fortunate to serve every day.”
Republic Services’ relentless commitment to safety led to the formation of a comprehensive, industry-leading safety program that relies on continual training to reduce accident frequency.
Last year, approximately 12,300 employees earned Republic Services’ Dedicated to Safety Award, and roughly 5,800 employees received Dedicated to Excellence recognition. Based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration data, Republic Services’ safety performance has been 42 percent better than the industry average over the past eight years.
For more than 25 years, the Driver of the Year program has honored drivers who have upheld the field of solid waste management as an honorable occupation, and have conducted themselves and operated their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Drivers from the private and public sector in the U.S. are eligible for nomination.
2016 Driver of the Year: Efren “Fernando” Lopez
Mr. Lopez began his driving career in 1987 in Stockton, Calif. Over the past 28 years, he has earned a reputation for his strong work ethic and pride in keeping the cleanest truck in the local fleet. He is also known as a leader and mentor who reflects all the wonderful qualities of the employees. Mr. Lopez is known for his superior and reliable service, perfect safety record and his dedication and commitment to serve the community.
Mr. Lopez has collected over 160,800 tons of solid waste and served more than six million households throughout his career. He is often called upon to mentor new drivers, extending his knowledge and dedication to service across his division. Mr. Lopez is a devoted family man who is actively involved within his community.
Republic Services of Stockton operates 55 collection routes each day. This team proudly serves more than 65,000 residential and 2,400 commercial customers throughout the region each week and handles approximately 550 tons of waste per day.