Staff Writer

ASHTABULA - - Kim Miller does a dirty, smelly job everyday, but someone has to pickup the trash.

Miller is the first woman to be hired at the Ashtabula City Sanitation Department, said Dom Iarocci, superintendent of public services for the City of Ashtabula.

She doesn't sit behind a desk answering the telephones. Miller is seen picking up garbage cans and emptying the cans into the back of the garbage truck.

Iarocci received 53 applications for the three positions open at the sanitation department, he said. Out of those 53 applicants three were women.

Miller was one of the top five candidates for a the job.

"I was real impressed with her interview," Iarocci said.

Iarocci filled the three positions with other candidates, but one slot fell through so Miller got the job, he said.

"I don't look at it as a man or woman, but as an employee," Iarocci said, when he hires.

Miller, who has wanted to work for the city for awhile started on Aug. 14. On her first day she picked up garbage at about 900 stops.

"The first day was a little rough," Miller said. "My body will get used to it."

It doesn't bother Miller to pick up other people's trash, lifting heavy garbage cans or getting dirty, she said.

"It's nothing to get dirty when you have a kid," Miller said. "It all washes off."

Miller has a four-year-old son Mykell, who keeps her busy when Miller isn't working.

Miller will work with different crews learning the three trash routes in the city. It will take Miller about six months to learn the routes, Iarocci said.

When she does she'll be able to become a driver if she wants. It is a goal of the crew to become a driver some day, Iarocci said.

"I think I've got the right lady in place to pave the way for other women," Iarocci said. "The city manager and I are progressive in our thinking. There shouldn't be restrictions because of gender, race or anything."

As for being exposed to the elements on a daily basis for hours. Miller looks at it as being like any other job, she said.

"You dress appropriately," Miller said. "I bought a raincoat to be prepared. I've never owned a raincoat."

Miller was born and reared in Ashtabula and attended Ashtabula High School.

Miller's husband, Christopher, at first, thought his wife was crazy to apply with the sanitation department, Miller said.

"I like to be out there," she said. "I don't want to sit behind a desk."

Before getting hired with the city, Miller drove a bus for Ashtabula County Transportation for a year, she said.

The city sanitation department picks up about 254 tons of residential garbage a week. Last year, it picked up 13,234 tons, Iarocci said. The department has three trucks that pick up trash daily and one truck and crew that does leaf pick up.

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