OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Out of all of three-year-old Wyatt Hagan’s toy trucks, the garbage truck is special because it’s just like the one that visits him every week.
“He’s loved anything with wheels since the day he was born,” Wyatt’s mom Leslie Hagan said.
Each Monday morning before school, Wyatt waits as patiently as any toddler can for the garbage truck to pull onto his street.
“He just gets so excited and runs up to the truck, happy as can be,” said Jacob Smiddy, an employee at Waste Connections of Tennessee.
Little did Wyatt know, the highlight of his morning is also the best part of the day for the three men who collect his trash.
“It’s the highlight of our morning. It makes the day go by a lot easier,” said Waste Connections employee Ben Matchett.
When Wyatt asked his mom if they could bake Christmas cookies to give to his friends, they returned the next week with a surprise of their own.
“We talked about putting some of our tip money together to just thank him for the cookies he brought out to us,” Matchett said.
“They came to the door with a big wrapped box,” Hagan recalled. ” Wyatt was so excited. He yelled, ‘what is it? What is it?’ It was a garbage truck just like what they had.
“The Lord put it on my heart that we should get him a little garbage truck,” Smiddy said. “We just want him to give to others as we gave to him.”
Wyatt knows how to load and empty the garbage cans on his new truck just like he’s watched his friends do every Monday morning.
“It smashes the trash,” Wyatt explained excitedly.
“He sees them as heroes. He sees them in their big truck every week with their big machines. They always are giving him high fives. They’re just really sweet men who take the time with him,” Hagan said.
As the garbage truck pulled away on Friday afternoon with Smiddy, Matchett and Andes Sebastian on board, Wyatt waved goodbye. But, he won’t have to wait too long to see his friends again. They’ll be back on Monday morning.