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South Tahoe Refuse Swampers Training Video Production

By June 8, 2020October 12th, 2022Blog, Video

Tahoe Production House just wrapped production on the latest South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling training video, specifically about the Swampers that ride on the Garbage trucks in the neighborhoods while picking up trash.

We filmed with the wonderful employees of STR and walked through their day while working at STR.


“Welcome to the South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling Collection Department training video. We are proud of the services our employees provide to our customers. Please watch and listen as this video provides examples of our expectations for you to excel with our company.

  • You’re part of a team. Always put the safety of your co-workers first and foremost each day. Treat co-workers with respect and patience.
  • Arrive warmed up and ready to go to work at your start time. Stay alert throughout the day and maintain good physical and mental health.
  • Clock in and out every day. The early shift starts no sooner that 4:45am, the late shift starts no sooner than 6:45am.
  • Check Route Paperwork.
  • A reflective shirt or vest is always your outside layer; boots, with ankles and good tread, gloves and safety glasses on the routes, will make you safer. A hard hat is required while inside our facilities.

Customer Service

  • Return garbage cans 20’ from the roadway and secure the lids.
  • Do not throw cans up a driveway. Hand cans to another co-worker to run up driveway if needed.
  • Use caution when returning cans up driveway, DO NOT SCRATCH VEHICLES.
  • Place cans to the left or right side of driveway, not blocking the customer’s access when returning home.
  • Cans need to be left standing up with lids on top. Do not stuff lids into cans.
  • Fold Blue Bags over the lip of the can, secure with the lid.
  • Do not hang Blue Bags on vehicles.
  • Be courteous to our customers; never use abusive or foul language, refer questions to your driver.

Work Safe and Smart

  • Always ride in the cab to and from the Transfer Station.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Do not jump out of truck cabs, use three points of contact.
  • Think ahead and plan your movements.
  • Watch where you are going.
  • Be cautions around trucks and traffic, be sure the driver sees you, maintain eye contact and wait until the driver waives you to cross.
  • Only ride on the bucket in residential areas and only from stop to stop. Get back into the cab to travel more than 1/8th of a mile or approximately 220 yards.
  • Ride on the metal step of the bucket and hold on to the handles at all times.
  • Do not ride on the bucket by leaning back against the truck forks.
  • Be sure the bucket step is clear of paper and debris to avoid slipping/tripping hazards.
  • Watch for potholes, speed bumps and other obstacles on the roadways.
  • Cold weather requires extra care while riding on the bucket.
  • Do not step off the bucket until the truck is at a full stop.
  • Work at a reasonable pace.
  • Use two people to lift heavy containers, bags or objects.
  • Weight limit is 50 lbs., report over-weights to your driver.
  • Squat and lift, remember any container could be overweight.
  • Assist with all backup maneuvers. Stand at the back of the truck and maintaining visual contact with the driver by using the mirrors and using hand signals to indicate directional movement and stopping.
  • Always check for over-head wires, trees before instructing driver its ok to dump bucket or dumpster.
  • Watch behind the truck for leaks or spills, stop the truck, and contain leaks using absorbent or dirt. Keep it away from drains.
  • Watch for and always clean up any debris falling from the truck. All glass must be swept up.
  • All animal messes must be cleaned up after the driver has taken a picture.
  • Report unsafe conditions to your driver or Supervisor.

Bear Boxes

  • Bear-proof enclosures must be checked every week.
  • If a Bear Box door is ajar or does not open freely, DO NOT FORCE IT! Have driver call the office to notify customer.
  • No kicking, slamming Bear Box doors. Close the doors carefully, like you own it.
  • Report Bear Box enclosures that do not contain cans to your driver.
  • Do not place Blue Bags on Bear Box doors, fold over lip of can.

Be alert to:

  • Watch for moving equipment, machines, cars and pedestrians.
  • Hazardous materials and bio-hazard materials, like medical needles, blood and body fluids and material that might carry bacteria or virus.
  • Watch for hot ashes in garbage containers and in the bucket. Use your hand to feel for heat.
  • Be aware of noise, dust, slippery surfaces and temperature extremes.
  • Report physical symptoms like strains, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin irritation.
  • Report all accidents and injuries to your Supervisor Immediately.

Driver Reminders

  • 15 mph limit while co-workers are riding on the bucket.
  • Co-workers do not step off the bucket until the truck is at a full stop.
  • If you lose visual contact, stop!
  • Be professional on the radio, use for business-purposes only.
  • No smoking in the trucks, smoke only on breaks.
  • No cell phones while working. Make personal calls during lunch periods or on scheduled breaks.
  • Check cow catches & clean top of truck regularly.
  • 30-minute lunch break is required for all employees daily.
  • Obey all federal, state and local laws on public roadways.

Remember to clock out!”

We promote environmentally-friendly practices to reduce solid waste by diverting as much recyclable material as possible.
We are dedicated to providing reliable and efficient collection of solid waste for the citizens, visitors and businesses in the South Lake Tahoe area.
We are currently recycling 65%!