Dawn Boldison-France is the latest female driver to successfully pass her HGV driving exam while working at North Yorkshire waste firm Yorwaste.
She joins fellow drivers Peggy Frankland and Anna Guziak who are all based at the company’s waste transfer station in Thirsk.
Dawn spent eight months working as waste collection operative before swapping a wheelie bin for a steering wheel.
She drives a large ‘curtainsider’ truck which generally contains large amounts of recycled material, such as cardboard.
The 47-year-old, who lives in Boroughbridge, says: “I have always loved working outside and prior to joining Yorwaste I spent ten years driving on behalf of the RSPCA.
“Collecting bins was great but I was keen to get back to driving and I am delighted to have passed my Class 2 HGV exam.
“My job now largely entails picking up large amounts of baled waste from businesses in areas such as Harrogate and York and bringing it back to Thirsk for recycling.
“The days and weeks are going by so fast, which is a sign of how much I am enjoying the job.”
Peggy was the first female driver to start working at Thirsk.
The 25-year-old, who lives near Masham, has a Class 1 qualification and drives an articulated lorry. This means regular round-trip trips from Thirsk to drop off waste at Yorwaste’s Harewood Whin facility near York, or the new Allerton Waste Recovery Park, near Knaresborough.
Peggy says: “I joke that I only started driving as part of my gap year, but that was two and a half years ago and I am still here, so that demonstrates how much I like it.
“You feel like you are your own boss when you are out on the road and it’s a generally a great place to work as everybody is accepted.
“My long-term goal is to go into heavy haulage driving the really large vehicles you see on the road that are so big they need escorts. That would be amazing.”
Anna is approaching her first anniversary working at Yorwaste.
The 32-year-old mum, who is Polish but now lives in Thirsk, has a Class 2 qualification and drives a skip lorry.
She says: “My dad was a lorry driver and even as a child I preferred to play with boy’s toys, so I think I was always destined to follow in his footsteps.
“It’s a great job with plenty of independence and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Geraldine Lear, Yorwaste service delivery manager, said: “Waste management is traditionally a male dominated industry but the numbers of women working in the sector is growing all the time.
“It’s great to see Dawn, Peggy and Anna doing so well; they are a real credit to Yorwaste.”