At Athens we value all of our team members, but there is one who stands out from the rest. Rocky the Recycling Raccoon may look and act a bit differently, but at Athens, we appreciate individuals from all walks of life – even if they walk on all fours.
Rocky’s journey to Athens is unique and unlike any other. Born in La Puente, California, Rocky’s childhood consisted of playing with tin cans, dumpster diving, and rummaging through trash.
As Rocky grew older, they realized finding food was becoming increasingly difficult because their go-to organic bins were being filled with recyclables and trash instead of tasty food scraps. To make life easier, Rocky started to separate waste and recycling into the correct bins. Rocky even made a game out of the activity.
One day, Rocky was so invested in their recycling game they didn’t notice the bin they were digging through was being picked up by a trash truck! By the time Rocky realized they were being lifted, it was too late. Rocky climbed through the trash and held on for the ride.
After a short ride in the truck, they ended up at the Athens City of Industry Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). They were amazed at how the facility separated and sorted material, essentially, what Rocky was doing but much more intricate and efficiently.
For months, Rocky snuck around the site, rode on trucks, and followed team members through their day without being spotted. Rocky loved every second.
One day Rocky hopped on a truck that drove to a school, but instead of collecting waste, it parked where students could look at it up close. Rocky also saw Athens Services Recycling Coordinators (RCs) teaching students about recycling.
Rocky watched in amazement and an idea formed: they could teach children, too. Rocky jumped out of hiding. The team members were startled, but Rocky demonstrated the recycling game and the team was impressed. Rocky the Recycling Raccoon was born.