“Garbage Man Dan”- Roseville Senior Refuse Truck Driver
Roseville, CA- Affectionately known as “Garbage Man Dan” to three-year-old Cooper Faaborg, Dan Lombardi, a Senior Refuse Truck Driver, has worked for the city of Roseville for 17 years. His job has made him unlikely connections- including his relationship with Cooper.
Initially, Cooper’s love for garbage trucks started at daycare.
“The older kids stopped what they were doing on Fridays and would go out and wave at the garbage man,” explains Vanessa Faaborg, Cooper’s mom. “He has always loved trucks and this was the first truck he got to see up close and in action.”
“He’s my best friend”3-year-old Cooper Faaborg
Vanessa met Dan through a mutual friend who heard of Cooper’s love of trucks and realized that Dan’s route was in Cooper’s grandparent’s neighborhood. Dan has made a point since then to make garbage day special for Cooper.
“He will get out of the truck and talk with Cooper, give high fives and show him how the trucks works. When he leaves he makes sure to honk the horn and wave to him, which completely makes Cooper’s day,” Vanessa shares. “The time Dan takes to make one small customer feel special, truly sets him apart from the others.”
Since first meeting each other, Dan has made an extra effort to show Cooper his truck, how it works and patiently listens to Cooper recount stories about his own toy garbage trucks.
“He is always so excited to see me pull up. His big smile and excitement will brighten your day,” Dan shares. “Good or bad day I always smile when I see Cooper out front waiting to say hi.”
As Dan’s number one fan, Cooper’s love for garbage trucks has gone beyond toys and has expanded to an “I love garbage trucks” tee shirt and hat that he wears on “garbage day.” After parting from a morning of exploring Dan’s truck, Cooper was asked what makes Dan special. “He’s my best friend,” he says.
Commitment to service
Dan’s commitment to kindness extends to all of his customers. “I try to make sure to be personable and friendly to the residents,” Dan explains. “The public loves to stop and watch to see how a garbage truck works; in turn they are watching you. I make sure to give a smile and a wave and if they have the kiddos out I will honk the horn.”
Dan volunteers to work at events like “Big Trucks Summer” that the city hosts because he loves the feedback he receives. “To me the highlight of my day is to see how the kids react to the truck and how they describe to me what the truck does.”
The Faaborgs aren’t the only ones impressed by Dan’s thoughtfulness. Dan’s supervisor Jeff Vogel says, “Dan is our Green Waste Lead Worker and is a very good one at that. Dan understands that his actions as a lead worker are infectious to his coworkers and it shows across the board. Our entire crew are the epitome of great customer service.”
Dan and his family have lived in Roseville for seven years. Outside of his refuse responsibilities, Dan proudly calls himself a “cheer dad,” spending his time watching his girls cheer. At present, he enjoys training his puppy, cooking on his Traeger and watching scary movies with his family.