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Women of Waste Pro – Lisa Cunningham

Women of Waste Pro

Lisa Cunningham
Claw Truck Driver
Southaven, MS

Lisa Cunningham doesn’t care about working in a male-dominated industry – she’s done it most of her life.

“I like challenges,” she said. “I was an auto technician for 26 years before I became a garbage truck driver. I didn’t find it to be anything that was over my head.”

Lisa joined Waste Pro in 2012 when it was awarded the contract for the city of Southaven, MS – she’d been working with the city’s previous hauler until that point.

“I enjoyed what I was doing already…and Waste Pro told us what it would be like, discussed how things would be, and made us offers. So I came aboard.”

One could argue Lisa is a stickler for safety – she won her first $10,000 Safety Award in 2019 and is up for it again within the next year. The key, she says, is always being alert.

“I know what I’m doing – I’m not saying I’m not capable of having an accident, but my main thing is watching everybody around you,” she said. “Always keep your eyes moving, look in your mirrors, make sure there’s no powerlines above.”

Over the years, her truck has essentially become part of her. She knows her truck inside and out and knows when something is wrong. She would even drive it around outside of work if she could.

“Me and my truck are like peas and carrots,” she said.

There’s no question Lisa loves what she does. She loves the feeling of completing her routes, being ready when something unexpected arises, and interacting with customers.

“I’ve had a lot of compliments on the way I operate. People appreciate me picking up their stuff and offer water or sometimes snacks,” she said. “it makes you feel good when they tell you you’re doing a good job.”

With all her experience, Lisa knows what it takes for women who are just beginning their careers in the waste industry.

“It’s not as hard as it seems sometimes…women can do better than men anyway,” she joked. “Be safety conscious, put her nose to the grindstone, do a good job. She can do it, I can do it, there’s other women that can do it. We can do this.”