Gathering at Hospice of Humboldt for Local Hero and Dedicated Recology Driver


EUREKA, CA.—Around 25 Recology trucks lined up in front of the Hospice of Humboldt on September 15th, to honor their co-worker and beloved friend, Matt Taylor–who’s dedicated around 18 years to Recology; and even more years to the community.

“We came together today on a short call,” Gerald Watkins, a Recology driver for 17 years said.  “We got all these guys really together and to come together just to show support, care and love that he has with Recology and the teamsters,”

He was met with dozens of co-workers, family and friends.

“I’ve known Matt since junior high, that’s when I first met him. We had lost contact through the years and stuff, and then he came to work with us,” Leonard Wonnacott, a Recology driver for 22 years said. “I was like, oh, hey, you’re here. you know? And then it just went from there,you know? He’s like, the best dude you could possibly work with.”

“Matt, to me, is a friend I’ve had for 30 years, a family friend and a good friend and a coworker that I’ve been working with for the past 17 years and someone that will do anything for you. He’s a giver, not much of a taker,” Watkins said. 

Matt has been battling Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. After receiving care at St. Joseph’s, he will now reside at the hospice 

Throughout his life many at the gathering said he was always the one to put others first.

“He runs garbage out in the city of Eureka, and he touches the lives of about 3500 residents every day, like many of our drivers do out here, and he’s made friends with people and people look forward to seeing him. You can look at Facebook pages right now and you may hear stories about him that I’ve never heard before,” General Manager at Recology, Linda Wise said.  “He never is there to tell you what you could do for him, he’s always had thought about what he could do for you.”

Though the gathering was short notice the turnout was huge, and the hospice said that this was the first time anything like this had happened at their facility.

“We heard this morning that a patient was being transported from the hospital into our hospice house. He’s obviously very well-loved in the neighborhood and in this community, I mean, the show of support is just incredible,” CEO of Hospice of Humboldt, Dianne Keating said. “All the staff literally came outside because it’s just such a testament to the love that this person has. and it’s just really a credit to the hospice house that we can serve this person at the end of life and provide all the love and support not only to him but to all of his family and friends.” 

Tears were shed, stories were told, and most importantly–love was felt throughout the gathering as they said goodbye to a dear friend, father, and community member.

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