A Winder man has a daily reminder of his dedication to work and service to his community when he steps into his Republic Services waste disposal truck.

Mike Juhan was named 2019 National Commercial Driver of the Year in May by the National Waste & Recycling Association.The award is given annually to drivers who “uphold the field of recycling and waste collection as an honorable occupation, and have conducted themselves and the vehicles and equipment they operate in a safe and responsible manner.”

Juhan drives for Republic Services — a U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal company.

In addition to receiving an award at the national conference, Juhan’s truck now has a decal of his name and accomplishment.

Juhan received the award last week during an awards program at the 2019 WasteExpo, which is the largest annual waste industry trade show in North America.

“Safety is the No. 1 priority at Republic Services,” President Jon Vander Ark said in a news release. “It’s why we continue to invest in our award-winning, best-in-class training program that enables our drivers across the country to continually improve. On behalf of our 36,000 employees across the country, I congratulate Mike and his family on this extraordinary recognition.”

Juhan has spent more than 20 years in the waste disposal industry and has no preventable crashes or injuries on his record. He also the two-time reigning local ROAD-EO champion, a skills competition between Republic Services drivers.

He also shows commitment to his community. Juhan is a member of Republic’s SOS program that consists of volunteer drivers from across the country who are dispatched in the aftermath of natural disasters. When he is not driving a collection truck, Mike volunteers at the local food bank, teaches Sunday school and serves as a deacon in his church.

Republic Services handles recycling and waste disposal for more than 14 million customers in the U.S.

Taylor Denman is a reporter born and raised in Gwinnett County. He came back home to seize the rare opportunity of telling stories in the county he grew up in.