WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — “Everybody should have a Warren in their life.”
For the past two years, Thursday mornings in Georgetown, Texas have been a playdate for mom Sabrina Hildebrant and her two children, Hendrik and Alarik. But it’s not other parents and children they’re playing with.
“It’s not like an acquaintance. It’s someone they have a real connection with,” Hildebrant said.
Rather, the two boys patiently wait and listen for a certain Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) truck driver to come down their street.
His full name is Warren Paynes. He’s a lead residential driver for TDS.
“They basically listen for him throughout the entire neighborhood. They can hear him a couple streets down and then they get all their stuff ready to go,” Hildebrant said.
Thursday mornings around 11:30 play out like this: Warren is greeted with a cooler full of either water, Gatorade or popsicles. In return, he treats the kids to a show. He demonstrates the crusher and then beeps the horns with a few extra honks. Needless to say, both children eagerly await his arrival every week.
“To them, it means just sheer excitement basically… they squeal and they run outside… The truck, the truck is the cat’s meow. Warren, when he comes through, he backs up so they can see. He will show them the crusher and always makes sure he crushes in front of them and gives them some extra honks,” Hildebrant said.
She appreciates Warren going the extra mile to take time for her kids, noting the pride he takes in his work. He is their favorite truck driver. They’ve been friends ever since he began servicing their house and neighborhood.
“He nurtures that relationship. To them, it’s just the coolest thing ever and they get so excited when they see him and the fact that he takes his time, he nurtures it and does all that—it’s so special,” Hildebrant said.
That’s why this Halloween, they chose their buddy for inspiration when deciding on a costume. Each is set to dress as a TDS driver. Hendrik and Alarik even found work boots to match Warren’s, but that’s not all.
They couldn’t wait to show him their custom-built garbage truck. It even has a functioning bin pulley system to dump trash into the back. They’ll be using it instead to go door-to-door trick-or-treating and load up candy—a pretty sweet loot.
“It’s funny, according to Hendrik, it’s close to Warren’s, but it’s not there yet so it’s like, ‘Mine doesn’t have hydraulics or a crusher,'” Hildebrant laughed.
TDS said connecting with each and every customer is a priority. When they saw some children in their service neighborhoods chose to be truck drivers for Halloween, they were filled with happiness and gratitude.
“He’s touched their lives in such a way that will impact them forever. Somebody to be extra kind and taking the time out of their day to spend with them and talk to them. You know, outside of their immediate family, right? It’s not as common. It’s just not as often as you see anymore,” Hildebrant said.
If you’re still looking for costume ideas, TDS encourages families to read their latest blog: “How to make an Easy DIY Garbage Truck Costume using Recycled Materials.” It’s a step-by-step guide for children’s costume ideas with an added beneficial bonus, creating a way to reuse and repurpose recyclable materials.
Beyond solid waste collection, the independently-owned Texas Disposal System incorporates solid waste disposal, compost production and recycling to their operations. You can visit their website to learn more.