Six-year-old Savvy Marin wanted to be her dad for Halloween.
“It was 100 percent Savvy’s idea,” her mom Krystal says. “She is so proud of her dad. She came up to my husband and said, ‘Daddy, I want to be just like you for Halloween.’ Of course, my husband said I’m going to make this for you.”
Her father, Richard, is a truck driver for Waste Management in Reno, Nevada. He made her costume—a Waste Management garbage truck--from scratch using boxes, paint and the company’s logo, hat and vest. Richard has been a garbage truck driver for the company for five years.
“A couple weeks ago before we made the costume, kids were discussing what they were going to be and she said, ‘I’m going to be a garbage girl,’” Krystal says. “She wore that thing so proudly. She didn’t want to take it off.”
Employees, customers and community members have been sharing their Waste Management costumes on social media with the hashtag #HalloweenWM.
“Through the years, we’ve really seen a big interest from kids and families in the neighborhoods we serve to dress up like our truck drivers,” says Janette Micelli, Waste Management communications manager. “People are really creative with what they do as far as building their own trucks."
In 2016, Waste Management noticed an increase of community members dressing their kids up as Waste Management truck drivers. The company made a YouTube video on how to make your own truck costume and even created its own design.
“Last year, we worked with our apparel gear provider and worked with retailers and made a costume you can purchase through our website,” Micelli says. “Our drivers get to know the kids in their neighborhoods and make connections with the kids. Our employees are proud and get behind it as well.”
Claudia Nwaogu, corporate communications specialist, is the brains behind the social media campaign. She thought of a way for families across the country to share their Waste Management truck costumes with each other. She created the hashtag #HalloweenWM and encouraged families and community members to post their Halloween photos to the company's social media using the hashtag.
"We wanted to provide an opportunity to group all of the really cute kid pictures together," Nwaogu says. "We came up hashtag so we could see all the cute costumes, and allow our fans to see the cute costumes as well."
Nwaogu says community members submit photos of their kids in Waste Management truck costumes year-round.
"It's not just on Halloween," she says. "Any random day I get photos from our customers or an employee of their kids dressed up as a truck driver, but definitely on Halloween we see more excitement and more of it."
"There's a lot of excitement from employees to share photos with us and a lot of excitement with customers and the wider communities we serve," she adds. "It's a great community that has been built around designing costumes for kids."