By Inesha Jackson
The City of Canton’s Landfill Director, Melon Garrett, has been proudly serving the Canton community for almost 30 years. Garrett is the proud husband of Gloria Garrett and together they have one daughter. Aside from work, Garrett attends First Baptist Church in Lexington, Mississippi where he serves as a deacon and a southern baptist preacher.
As landfill director, Garrett oversees the operations of two facilities, a solid waste landfill and a Class I rubbish site. Garrett is responsible for training and ensuring that his staff is certified by the state of Mississippi and nationally as landfill operators.
“The best part of the job is dealing with people and solid waste. . . We would normally call it garbage, but the professional name for it is solid waste. I have developed people coming along behind me and instilled in them the same values about the environment and recycling and just being a better person as it relates to dealing with solid waste. It has all really evolved into creating a safe and clean environment for our children and for the future,” Garrett said.
Garrett first got his beginnings in this line of work as a mechanic for a solid waste company and a position for a certified landfill operator finally opened. He then went through a series of tests and training and received his certification and was assigned to his first landfill to operate in Leflore County, Mississippi at the Leflore County landfill. From there, he eventually became a landfill operator for the City of Canton. Garrett also serves as the treasurer for the Solid Waste Authority of North America for the state of Mississippi.
“I have the opportunity to live out my faith and what the Bible teaches about being a peculiar person. Being a landfill operator is a very peculiar position because you encounter all kinds of people from different walks of life. At some point in life, everyone has thrown away something. . .There are only 18 landfills in the state of Mississippi and I get to operate one of them so that makes me a part of an elite group,” Garrett said.