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Recology driver featured tonight on 'Dirty Jobs'
Tonight's episode of the Discovery Channel show "Dirty Jobs" featuring garbage truck driver Laura Deland will be on at 9 p.m. or 6 p.m. on some satellite providers. Discovery is at 63 on Comcast, 278 on DirecTV, 182 on Dish Network and 121 on U-Verse.
Driving a garbage truck is a dirty job, but as the saying goes, someone's got to do it. Laura Deland of Marysville said she chooses to do it with a smile.
Her chatty, upbeat nature will be on display across the country tonight, when Deland, and specifically her skill at backing up her trailer of trash at the Ostrom Road landfill five times a day, is the feature of a segment on the popular Discovery Channel show "Dirty Jobs."
"I totally walked them through the whole routine I do," said Deland, 45, who filmed the segment over an otherwise typical day more than a year ago. "I'm not one of the dirty ones pushing the trash around, but once in a while stuff's in the trailer and I have to sweep it out."
The segment focused mostly on the tipper, the machinery at the landfill that Deland and other Recology Yuba-Sutter drivers back their trailers into and then manipulate to put those trailers nearly perpendicular to the ground to dump out 47,000 to 50,000 pounds of trash at a time.
As typical for "Dirty Jobs," Deland showed host Mike Rowe how to do it himself when the segment was filmed in October 2010.
"He did great," she said. "Well, he couldn't back the truck up. I know he was amazed with what I can do."
Though she said Rowe was a delightful trainee, and described the entire film crew as great people, Deland said at first she was ambivalent about the spotlight.
When she arrived at the landfill that day and spotted the crew, she said, she tried at first to hide her truck and trailer and let another driver be the focus. Problem was, garbage trucks and trailers that top out at about 40 tons aren't easy to hide.
"They said, 'you're the one,'" once they spotted her, she said. But she might have been a good choice anyhow; Deland said she is a lover of the open road who enjoys her job, down to honking at coyotes stalking newborn calves along Ostrom Road. "It's not boring if you like what you're doing," she said.
While the crew was filming, Deland said, she was struck by how much footage they got for what'll be less than 30 minutes of the show.
She said if viewers take anything away, other than just how dirty her job is, of course, she hopes it's to consider how much of what she dumps could actually be recycled and avoid the landfill altogether.
Phil Graham, general manager at Recology Ostrom Road, said the show is likely to get a lot of eyeballs from his workplace.
"We're trying to show hard working people try and help divert trash and recycle more," he said. "This validates what they're doing every day."
Deland said through Facebook and email, she has told tons of people about her pending stardom, though she is still curious on how it comes out.
No viewing party, though: Tuesday's a work night.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer