Solid waste professionals put their skills to the test at Florida’s SWANA Road-e-o

The City of Tampa hosted Florida’s SWANA Road-e-o Saturday, a solid waste truck driving competition that brought teams from across the state.

Brian Snead has been a driver with the City of Tampa Solid Waste Department for five years.

Serving the community, he grew up in runs in the family. 

"I've been around trucks ever since I was like 8-years-old. I watched and rode around with my uncles and my father, so it really inspired me to drive," Snead said. 

But on Saturday, he drove, intending to win a championship title.

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He was one of 40 solid waste professionals from across Florida who put their skills to the test in a ROAD-E-O hosted by the Solid Waste Authority of North America.  

Solid waste truck drivers showcasing their skills 

They're nothing short of amazing," Mayor Jane Castor added. "They can get those trucks into areas that we couldn't get a regular car."

In True Tampa fashion, Mayor Castor and Ye Mystic Krewe pirates welcomed the teams to the seven-obstacle Gasparilla-themed course. 

The obstacles simulated scenarios from the men's and women's everyday jobs. Waste collection is one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the United States. 

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"It's very dangerous, and I don't think people truly appreciate it," said Stephen Swan, Director of operations for the City of Tampa's solid waste authority. "For what goes in day in and day out and the hard work that the men and women of the solid waste industry go out for. When things go wrong, they call solid waste. They call the big guys." 

The winners from each division will represent their cities in the National competition held in Denver, CO, later this year.