Gifts for garbage collectors, like this smiling sanitation worker sitting in driver's seat of trash ...
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Thank-You Gifts For Garbage Collectors To Show You Care

What would you do without ‘em?

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No one puts up with more of your garbage than your actual trash collectors, and chances are, you don’t get much of a chance to thank them for it. Whether you’re thinking of giving these essential workers a holiday gift or wanting to show your appreciation during another time of year, these gifts for trash collectors are thoughtful and actually useful.

What’s an appropriate gift for trash collectors?

Etiquette experts at Emily Post recommend a small gift or tip for trash collectors, between $10 and $30 in value or in cash. The main thing to consider when choosing a gift is whether it will be safe in the truck — it will need to ride in the front passenger seat all day, so make sure it’s not too bulky or fragile. You should also think about how well you know the workers, their ages, and the climate they work in. All of these things will help you choose something appropriate and appreciated.

When in doubt, you can always opt for some universally loved items, like:

  • Bottles of water or sports drinks
  • Candy bars
  • Drawings from your kids (especially if they love watching the truck come by each week)
  • Homemade gifts, such as cookies or holiday decorations
  • Cards or letters expressing your gratitude

And hey, while you’re thinking of showing them some appreciation, peek inside your trash cans. If you have stinky, dirty cans, one thoughtful act you can do is to give those bins a good scrub and make the trash collectors’ jobs a little more pleasant each week.

The best gifts for trash collectors

Much like gifts for mail carriers and delivery drivers, gifts for trash collectors can be useful while working, like a new pair of work gloves, or hand sanitizers that are easy to clip onto a belt loop and use throughout the day. These gifts will come in handy over and over again, and show your favorite workers that you care about their comfort and health.

Thank you cards for sanitation workers

If you’d like to jot down a few sentences and say thanks, why not do it in a cute, on-theme card? It’s perfect on its own, to hold a cash tip or gift card, or to pair with a little box of homemade cookies or holiday-themed desserts. Bonus points if it has cute artwork from your kids inside.

How to leave a gift for trash collectors

Of course, you could always listen for the sound of the garbage truck and run your gift outside. If you’ll be at work, or your trash collectors come super early, you could place your envelope or wrapped gift on top of your cans — just make sure it’s secured to the can, obvious, and won’t blow away or be missed. That said, the most secure way to give a tip or gift to your trash collectors is to call your waste management company (or the city, if it’s through them) and ask where you can mail your present. This ensures the right person gets your gift or tip, and it doesn’t wind up stolen or in the trash.

No matter what you choose to gift or tip your trash collection workers, showing your appreciation is sure to brighten their day.

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