A high honor

Republic Services heavy equipment operator Roberto Hernandez is named “Operator of the Year” this month by the National Waste & Recycling Association. Hernandez is the first Republic Services operator to receive such recognition.

A Lake Havasu City man was given national recognition last week at the 2019 WasteExpo in Las Vegas, after nearly three decades of service at the Havasu’s landfill.

Roberto Hernandez is a heavy equipment operator for Republic Services, and this month he was the first operator in the company’s history to be recognized as “Operator of the Year” by the National Waste & Recycling Association. According to the National Association, Hernandez has maintained a flawless safety record with no crashes or injuries, and has a perfect attendance record. Hernandez was a finalist for the award three times before his win this year.

“This is a national award,” said Republic Services General Manager Matt Kross. “To have a local win this award is huge … it’s huge for him, for his family and for Republic Services. I’m proud for him and his family … he’s capable of driving every piece of equipment at our landfill, and he knows every place where things are buried. He’s been a mentor to other employees and his mentorship has had a definite impact on our management.“

Kross met Hernandez’s sons, now grown, at the WasteExpo last week. “You can see how his sons look up to him as the father he is, and see the success they’ve had under his mentorship. And that mentorship has had an impact on this company and this community as well.”

Alongside Hernandez’s national recognition, he was also awarded $5,000. According to Kross, Republic Services will receive a new bulldozer from the National Waste & Recycling Association.

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