Republic Services provides waste management services for the Parish of East Baton Rouge. They provide 810,000 services per week or 42,120.00 million per year to residents of the parish. It’s been tough with Covid, hurricanes and a 25% increase in volume just in garbage. In just one month, the Delta Variant struck Hurricane Ida and Nicholas, whose drivers were also affected. We have some of the best drivers and employees. They come to work every day to serve their customers, even in these difficult times that have affected drivers across the country.
During her seven years with Republic Services in Baton Rouge, Dedra McKinley has become a valued member of the team. She alone provides services in the parish of East Baton Rouge to 8,400 residents per week and 1,00,800,000 per year. It intervenes as soon as the need arises. She trains new drivers and serves as their mentor. Plus, she does everything with a big smile and a positive attitude that inspires others.
For her continued dedication to excellence, McKinley was named National Driver of the Year by the National Waste and Recycling Association. The award is given to drivers who drive their trucks safely, maintain a top performance record, and improve overall safety and the industry’s image in eight categories.
“To be honest, I’m just starting to understand what this means,” McKinley said. “I never received an award for anything, so it took a while for me to soak up. “
McKinley is Republic Services’ first female driver to win the award. She was selected from thousands of applicants from waste management service providers across the United States.
“It could have been anyone across the country,” said Sharon Mann, general manager of the Baton Rouge division of Republic Services. “It’s really encouraging to see someone like Dedra who wants to be good at a job they love. She is a role model. It has a lot to do with recruiting people to come here. When she brings people in, she trains them and they become friends. These friendships last a long time.
McKinley said she initially applied for a job at Republic Services because it was close to her home and the schedule would allow her to spend time with her family. The single mother’s hard work and commitment to her children allowed them to pursue their own success. His son works in heavy machinery. Her eldest daughter became an ultrasound technician. Now her youngest daughter is attending the University of the South on a full scholarship.
“I just wanted to prove to them that anything can be done and never give up,” McKinley said. “I always told them that whatever job you do, do your best. “
Mann said that as a driving instructor, McKinley shared the same message with new hires, especially women.
“She embraced this role,” Mann said. “She always talks to them and explains how she was able to buy a house, take care of herself and educate her children by being part of the business and being dedicated. People see her as a mentor. She is also very funny and very likable, which makes people feel at ease.
McKinley said keeping a positive attitude is one of her main goals and something she tries to pass on to others.
“I taught myself not to let anything get in my way,” she said. “I just want to take it one day at a time and one step at a time. I don’t let things get to me or get me down.
In recognition of the McKinley Prize, Republic Services hosted a dinner in his honor. She will also receive a brand new service truck that will have her name and the name of the award on the driver’s side door.
“When she crosses Baton Rouge on her roads, everyone will be able to see her and know that she is the best,” said Mann.