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Meet Your Driver: Robert Bowen, Recycle Truck Driver – Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee residents have probably seen Robert Bowen at one point or another on their street. For the past 10 years, Bowen has been a key part of the Waste Pro Tallahassee team as a recycle truck driver, educating residents on recycling along the way.

Bowen began his career as a delivery truck driver for Tri-Eagle Sales. Two years later, became an ice truck delivery driver.

“But at one point I said, I’ve got to get into recycling. I’d been wanting to start at Waste Pro. I’d seen a lot of the guys on the route and they looked so happy,” Bowen said.

In 2009, Bowen finally got his chance to drive a Waste Pro truck. Since then, he’s gotten up at 5 a.m. every morning to get his day started, always with a smile on his face. He’s formed close relationships with the customers along his route, taking the time to greet neighborhood children, play with pets along the street, and share recycling tips with customers.

“I get along with everybody. I’ll play with the dog or the kids, just to interact with them and let them know we’re friendly,” Bowen said.

Like any job, however, there are challenges he faces behind the wheel – irresponsible drivers, road hazards, and dangerous weather conditions, to name just a few.

“It gets tough at times, but just to see a smiling customer’s face, that really brightens my day,” Bowen said.

At home, Bowen is a proud husband, father, and grandfather. His eyes light up when talking about his five children and 14 grandchildren – some of whom, he said, have shown an interest in following in his footsteps as a garbage truck driver.

“I’m just trying to keep up with the grandbabies,” Bowen joked. “But as long as I can get my job done, I can get home and relax with them. They keep me excited for the next day.”