A trash story to treasure: Buda boy and waste collector give back to each other


BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — One trashman is one Buda boy’s treasure.

Most of us look forward to the weekend, but the Heith family looks forward to every Wednesday.

Waste Management driver Ron has been showing kindness to Mattie and Gage Heith’s two-year-old son Lincoln, who has a fascination with garbage trucks, during each Wednesday pick-up in Buda.

“Every single Wednesday, we get to run out here and watch the trash truck, and [Ron’s] been doing this the whole time we’ve been in quarantine, he’s been continuing to work, so it’s been great,” Mattie said.

Ron Williams, who is a lead driver and mentor at Waste Management and who said he first got into the business so he would have more time with his daughter, says his job is his passion and he looks forward to the days when he sees Lincoln, too.

“Knowing that I’m going to see him, the smile on his face, that I bring and my truck brings, the joy to his life and his family’s life, that’s one of the reasons why I never take off of work, because when I take off work, I’m affecting Lincoln’s life,” Williams said.

On Wed., June 3, during their last trash collection, Lincoln handed the driver a Sonic gift card as a way to pay Ron’s kindness forward, and a “touching” interaction followed.

The family captured what happened afterward on video. Watch the unedited version below:

It’s a special re-occurrence which has left a lasting impression on the family.

“Just his kindness. I think it’s truly what the world needs right now. Just everyone to be a little bit kind,” Mattie said. “It’s just been really, really special for Lincoln — teaching him how to be kind as well.”

Which Gage believes has “huge” impact.

“If he’s watching TV, you cannot get his attention, but if you say ‘trash truck is here,’ he’ll drop everything and run to the door. He love’s it.”

Williams said Lincoln is not alone in his fascination with the big green truck — other children, he says, are mesmerized by its size, how much noise it makes and its hydraulic system that creates a whistling sound when he’s loading up.

“What I like to do is, I like to stop, come to a complete stop and engage with them,” Williams said. “And then I like to put on a show; you know, I like to make the arm go up and down — just to see their faces. They just go crazy and that just makes my day.”

Williams says his message to everyone is that a “small act of kindness will go a long way.”

“When I wake up in the morning, knowing that I’m going to work, and I put that uniform on, and knowing that I’m going to put a smile on a child’s face, or his mother’s face, or his father’s face, that, you know, that joy, and that act of kindness of stopping, interacting with them; the peace and the joy that they have in that moment; if everyone would stop and think about that small act of kindness, the world would be at a better place,” he said.

Those moments for the Heiths do not go to waste.

“It’s the highlight of the week,” Gage said. “It makes me not want to go back to work so I can continue seeing it every Wednesday.”

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