Waste Management is changing the day and method of garbage pickup for about 50 customers in Orange to prevent future traffic accidents like the one that killed a worker.
Terry Woodson, a regional manager for the company, told the Orange City Council about the changes Tuesday morning.
She also thanked the city and community for their compassion after the death of 28-year-old Derrick Kane on November 26.
A car driven by an 18-year-old girl ran into the back of a stopped garbage truck where Kane was picking up trash cans. He was crushed between the car and the truck. The accident was on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a three-lane state farm-to-market highway, near Interstate 10.
Woodson said three small areas of Orange are along state highways with a total of about 50 customers, both residential and business. She said those customers will now have Thursday morning pickup. A Waste Management delivery truck will follow the regular garbage truck to provide a barrier between the garbage workers and traffic.
“If someone (a driver) is distracted” the delivery truck will take the brunt of the collision and not workers, she said.
Customers on the new route will be notified when the new schedule starts and will have their trash picked up beginning at 8 in the morning. After the truck crews finish those customers, they will return to their regular routes.
Woodson said the company has not had safety problems in residential neighborhoods where traffic is slower and drivers watch for the workers.
Mayor Larry Spears Jr. thanked Woodson for the company taking a move to prevent more accidents.
Woodson said the company’s CEO, James Fish, always puts safety first. The outpouring of concern from Orange concerning Kane’s death “touched all of our hearts, up to the CEO,” she said.
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-