An employee of the Springfield Division of Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) has been named Driver of the Year by the National Waste & Recycling Association.

Frank Epps of Springfield was named the National Commercial Driver of the Year, according to a press release. He received a cash prize of $1,000 and was honored yesterday at the WasteExpo event in Las Vegas.

“At Republic Services, safety is our number one priority. We believe that in order to provide superior service to our customers and our communities, we must first ensure the safety of our employees,” said Jon Vander Ark, president and CEO of Republic Services, in “Putting safety first is one of the ways we put sustainability into action. On behalf of our 39,000 employees, I congratulate Frank.”

The NWRA Driver of the Year Awards recognize waste collectors who drive their trucks safely, maintain a strong performance record, and improve the safety and image of the environmental services industry.

“Over his career, Frank has developed a passion for security and an unparalleled commitment to customer service,” the statement said, noting that Epps has been an employee of Republic Services for 18 years.

In recognition of the award, Republic Services presented Epps and his team with a new collection truck. Republic Services has provided garbage collection for Springfield residents and businesses for more than 30 years, according to previous reports.