Garbage Truck Driver Shares the Keys to Success

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—May 26, 2015—What are the keys to becoming the best garbage truck driver in the U.S.?

A hardworking attitude, a commitment to safety and a very understanding wife, according to Rumpke Driver James Jourden.

Jourden has been named “Driver of the Year” by the National Waste and Recycling Association.

“It takes a special kind of woman,” Jourden said. “We’ve been married for 26 years, so most of our married life, she’s had a husband who is a garbage man. There are a lot of late nights, long hours, and a lot of stuff that she’s had to tolerate that has just meant a lot to me.”


The Jourdens have five kids – four girls and one son—whom they are raising in Underwood, Indiana.

In June, Jourden and his wife will attend the Waste Expo, a huge industry trade show in Las Vegas, where he will be recognized with other top drivers from across the country.

He drives a roll off truck for Rumpke, a family-owned company that employs 120 people on Oak Street in Louisville. The company currently has openings for drivers and mechanics, posted at

 “James is a very dependable and hard-working employee,” said Regional Vice President Greg Beamer. “He shows up to work every day with enthusiasm and has never forgotten the roots of customer service. He’s very deserving of this award.”

Jourden has had other positions in the company, but for the past 15 years, Jourden has been driving a roll off truck without a single accident. His routes include collecting open top containers from construction sites or compactors from shopping malls or other large venues.

“The reason I’m successful is being able to work hard, being here every day and just making sure I treat the customers the way I would want to be treated,” Jourden said. “When you’re out there, there’s nobody watching over you, there’s no boss, you’ve got to make decisions when you’re out there and you just try to make the best decision you can.”

Rumpke Waste and Recycling has been committed to keeping neighborhoods and businesses clean and green since 1932 by providing environmentally friendly waste disposal solutions.  Rumpke is one of the nation’s largest privately owned residential and commercial waste and recycling firms, providing service to areas of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia. For more information, visit


Amanda Pratt

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