FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On its first full week of service in Fort Wayne, GFL Environmental USA was forced to run a schedule a day behind due to the 4th of July holiday.
As an even bigger “welcome to Fort Wayne,” mother nature threw storms into the mix that caused flash flooding all over town and could’ve delayed the trash hauler by another day.
Instead, residents witnessed GFL employees making sure everyone’s materials got picked up no matter what.
In a neighborhood off of Wallen Road in north Fort Wayne, Bruce Chwalik was riding his bike on Olmston Drive when he saw a good deed he wanted to record.
Residents of Olmston Drive tell WANE 15 that portions of their street flood often when retention ponds behind their homes start flooding into back yards. They say it backs up the storm drains that run to the ponds.
Storms Tuesday night coupled with more rain on Wednesday caused that to happen.
Chwalik saw a GFL truck driving up Olmston and it passed right by a home owned by Ken and Kathy Brockway.
They thought the truck was skipping their recycling collection since it couldn’t get to them from the street. They quickly realized the GFL employees were doing what Ken called the “smart and safe thing.”
“They got out of the water instead of, you know, because the water was over the sidewalk. So, it was too far away for the truck to even get to the can,” he said.
The driver drove past the flooded portion of the road and then the worker on the back of the truck came back down the sidewalk to collect bins and then return them to each home.
“I thought that was very nice and I kind of felt sorry for GFL. Like, this is their first full week and this [flooding] is what they have to deal with. So, he was exceedingly nice,” Kathy Brockway said.
Chwalik thought it was such a good deed, that he went and thanked the employee personally and then raced home on his bike to get them a cold beverage.
“He just seemed like a nice guy. He wanted to do a good job. The residents down there on Olmston drive, they were happy. So, it was a nice thing,” Chwalik said. “There’s so much negativity in the world and it’s so easy. You know, we’re all humans and we all make mistakes, and when you see someone doing what they did, this guy did, yesterday I think it needs to be brought to everybody’s attention. Yes, there’s going to be some missed pickups and ‘this and that,’ I just think I like to dwell on the positive.”
Chwalik and the Brockways both said the effort given by the GFL employee gives them hope that there won’t be any sort of “Red River repeat” with the new trash hauler.