Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett surprised Phillip “Budda” Parks on Nov. 17, after putting out word that the Powell Convenience Center was scheduled for a state inspection.
Instead, Burchett and Dwight Van de Vate, senior director of Engineering and Public Works, showed up with a formal proclamation declaring it Phillip Parks Day in Knox County.
Burchett said he wanted to recognize Parks for his exemplary job performance and thank him for representing the county in a professional and positive manner.
Parks came to the mayor’s attention when he literally saved the life of a center user who severed an artery when cut by a sharp piece of waste material. He provided first aid and compression until emergency service providers arrived.
Burchett then learned that Parks once helped a center user change a flat tire, he taught himself sign language in order to communicate with a colleague, and he dug through trash until he found a wedding ring that had been accidentally tossed.
Burchett said Parks gets consistently outstanding performance reviews, and also generates positive feedback from center users for his work habits and demeanor.
Van de Vate said Parks is trusted to train new employees for the department and even fills in for other employees, such as the litter crew, when needed.
The Powell Convenience Center serves approximately 6,500 cars per week disposing of trash, recycling and other types of waste. In 2015, the Powell center collected about 860 tons of recycled materials.