Before day light broke Monday morning, dozens of garbage collectors were up, ready, and eager to hit the streets. It was the first day of Advanced Disposal's service to thousands of Harrison County households.
The employees are new, and so are the trucks. Drivers, who've done this kind of work before coming to Advanced Disposal, say $13 million in new equipment will make their jobs easier.
Johnny Dixon lives in D'Iberville and has worked for another garbage disposal company in the past.
"The arm itself is a complete improvement. The old style trucks had a four feet reach. This has a nine and a half plus four foot swing to the right or left. "
He added, "The driving of it is a lot smoother. It's not so bouncy. The truck will hold more."
Nearly 100 employees headed off for the streets of Harrison County. In their eagerness to get moving, Advanced Disposal doesn't want workers to forget the most important part of the job.
"Safety is our number one priority," said C.E.O. Charlie Appleby. "We drive a lot of heavy trucks and equipment. We're in and out of neighborhoods. There's people, there's children, and we emphasize to our drivers and all our employees that safety is the number one focus of what we have."
Customer service is also a priority. Advanced Disposal is based in Jacksonville and serves several states. But officials want Harrison County's 66,000 households to know the site will be run like a local business.
"You can expect, beginning today, high quality responsive customer service, making sure your waste is picked up when it's supposed to and you can be assured that we have safe courteous drivers on the street," said Appleby.
Dixon said so far he's impressed by Advanced Disposal.
"They want to make a new home out of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi and they've got great plans for the future."
Advanced Disposal officials say their nearly 100 employees are all from Harrison County. On Sunday, the company held a picnic for workers and their families.