2022-10-18 18:16News

Q&A with Driver Debra West

Debra West

When did you begin your career at Casella?

I started with Casella a little over a year ago as a temp worker. Within a week I was filling out a permanent job application and knew this was a place I wanted to build my career. I was officially hired on September 9, 2021, and started with a non-CDL truck servicing different routes until I got my permit, and then I joined the CDL school.

What do you enjoy most about serving as a driver in your local community?

It’s the people. I like the job but it’s mostly who I work with and our customers who get me excited to come in every day. My team is great. Everyone is out there to help everybody. I’ll be out struggling on a route with my non-CDL truck and I’ll get a phone call that someone is coming to help. Or if I’m done with a route, I’ll call another driver and ask where I can help. We are just one big team. We joke around a lot, but we also have a lot of serious conversations and support each other in and out of work. And our customers are also great and always really nice. They give us cookies and leave water for us. Being on the road all day is pretty cool.

How have other drivers or supervisors mentored you throughout your time at Casella?

My site manager Rick Moriarty has always been a mentor for me. We are like two peas in a pod.

Any question I have – good, bad, or indifferent – he has the answer or he finds the answer. All the drivers I work with are fantastic. I have not met one yet that has not been willing to answer questions and share their experiences. We are all willing to help each other learn and grow. They have all taught me a lot and I’m still learning.

What piqued your interest in the Casella CDL Training Program?

I was driving a non-CDL truck and knew I wanted to continue to grow my career. Rick and I have talked about my career path at Casella and going further in the company, so I knew this was one of the next steps to making that a reality, which helped motivate me. Leadership here is all about growth. They are pushing me towards that next step as a supervisor or manager down the line.

Tell us about your experience at the CDL Training Program…

The school itself is great. The main takeaways are absolutely everything. They really know their stuff. They have given me a lot of driving tips that will help me on the road. I’m not a book person, so getting my permit was tough. I am the type of person who needs to see it to understand it. So now that I’ve had this experience, I am more prepared for my job. I feel very confident going in my CDL license test.

How does it feel to be a part of Casella CDL Training Program history?

It’s been fun to celebrate this milestone with the other graduates. I don’t usually have the spotlight put on me, but it’s been pretty cool to see that Casella can build something from the ground up like that. And being a part of that has been great.  

Looking to the future, what are your long-term career aspirations?

I’m 42 and one day I’m going to get too old to be getting in and out of a truck all day. I need to think about the future here, and this career track really interests me. My supervisors are behind that and once I get my CDL I am going to begin taking some next steps in my career. Over the winter I am going to be learning more about the computer, route planning, and logistics side of things. I also hope to get into the management training program and take things as far as I can go.

Do you have advice for anyone looking to become a Casella driver or join the CDL Training Program?

Get out there, meet people, and learn new things. I learn something new every day. Something always comes up that I don’t know, and I call another driver or Rick, and they help me through it. And now, some of the newer drivers who come on, I now get to teach them stuff.   

About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.

Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, is the Northeast’s largest recycler and most experienced fully integrated resource management company. Founded in 1975 as a single truck collection service, Casella has grown its operations to provide solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling, and organics services to more than 900,000 residential, commercial, municipal, institutional, and industrial customers throughout the Northeast, and professional resource management services to over 10,000 customer locations in more than 40 states.


Jeff Weld
Vice President of Communications
Jeff Weld