Site Meter The Garbage Man

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Notes From the Dump

This is an interesting little article sent in by Terry Ward one of a few im going over, and wanted to share it with you. If you get a chance stop over and visit Terry.

"Deuce, hey, hi...I'm a retired environmental technician (dump attendant), the former curator of the East Eden NH Town Dump...I will send you a couple dump stories if you like...your blog is good and brings back memories, for I loved The Dump! "

"…stop me if you’ve heard this one…as Curator of The Dump for many years in the Town of East Eden (the provenance of this screed in case you‘ve wondered ‘…where in hell is this fool coming from!?’…) I came by everything you can think of…in its questionable wisdom (as I only learned much later) the town select board - with sweeping gestures of its collective arm - had told me when they hired me as we stood atop a mountain of putrefaction alive with dancing flies and disease-ridden rats itchin’ for a bite of my plentiful adipose tissue…‘It’s all yours, do what you want…don’t bother us with it…’

…man, it was like taking candy from a baby or leaving me your keys & credit card while you were away…cool, I’ll turn it into a cash cow and for awhile did, including one time finding 900 issues of LIFE magazine dating to 1936 when it started and even had a copy of the 1st one, it is a picture of the Fort Peck Montana dam…a 90 year old man had his manservant toss them away and so as not to tip my hand and let the guy know they were valuable in which case HE mighta got ‘em instead of me, I helped him wing them off the truck and over the bank laughing away with the dude as LIFE magazines went tumbling and blowing around and down a football field sized dump on a 30-degree incline, so they were scattered far and wide…soon’s he was gone I dove over the edge tossing rats left and right oblivious to the ten thousand flies, tons of Pampers, every chemical you can think of, all the stuff you see - and then the nasty stuff - into this ‘…stinking, steaming pile of shit…’ – to quote Zap Comics – I chokingly go enveloped in the smell and corruption of this festering detritus, and finally hours later had collected as many as I could, 896. I painstakingly cleaned them off and stacked them neatly in my storage shed at The Dump…

…fast forward six months, Dee is standing there looking thru the LIFE magazines, Dee a WW2 South Pacific Marine vet and even at his advanced age obviously rugged. ‘Hey Dee, how’s it goin’ with you…’ He looked up from the LIFE magazine - and I could see he was holding issue number one; he said, ‘My step mother took this picture of the 1st LIFE magazine, this one November 14th, 1936.’ I said to myself sure she did Dee and I said to Dee, ‘She did?!’ And he said yes she did.

…I was taken aback because I knew who had taken the picture…so I said well Dee, like, who was your step mother, and he answered ‘Margaret Bourke-White…’, bingo…’Margaret Bourke-White is your step mother!’ I said incredulously, he nodded, ‘…well, who is your father!?’ to which Dee - Dabney Withers Caldwell - replied, ‘Erskine Caldwell’ - talk about six degrees of separation…how’s that?

I have to say that if you’re 55 or over this story might mean something, if you’re younger than that you maybe never heard of one of WW2’s most renowned photographers, Ms. Bourke-White, and the famed author Erskine Caldwell, ‘God’s Little Acre,’ ‘Tobacco Road’…well now you have. When they are happening we don’t always recognize what ultimately becomes a significant moment in our lives…"

Thanks again Terry, and to everyone else, please keep sending your stories!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hi Everyone

Thanks for your continued interest and support. I have since left this profession, as weather conditions turned worse it was something I no longer wanted to partake in. However I now want to hear some of your stories, Please send me an Email at I am interested to hear from other People working in this field, Pictures, Horror stories, etc. Maybe your not working in this profession, but it's one that affects us all. Maybe you have a complaint about your local Sanitational Engineer (Garbage Man/Woman) or a Question on Why something is done a certain way. Even send me your comments, and I will Sort through, Respond, And post your feelings. I know I will never look at garbage bags on the side of the road the same way; and on occasion, still want to jump out of my car and start grabbing them. Also thanks to JONATHAN BENDER, AOL FIND A JOB For including me in his article


Monday, July 17, 2006

Ants Ants and More Ants

Today was a relativly laid back monday, I started out today on the green-bins. I dumped about 2300 of these bins today. The only problem I was running into today, seemed to be the ants. I must have blown 100 ants off my arms throughout the day, None of them bit me atleast, although one day I had one bite me under my glove. I placed a lot of Rejection stickers on peoples green-bins today. I checked almost every one before dumping it today (which i'm suppose to do but seldom do). Its amazing what people try to put in these compost only bins. Some of the things that were in the bins I stickerd today include; rocks, a hard bag of cement, carpet, ceiling tile, dirt, milk cartons, broken mirror, styrofoam, a paint can and more. This afternoon I did garbage for about an hour, I had an extra helper with me for the garbage, who has only been here for a week now. At about the third stop he swung a bag of garbage and hit me in the head with a peice of brass tubing, fortunatly I was not hurt. Now I know why the other guy dropped him off to work with me. Im suppose to be with the same driver again tomorrow, he's a great driver, always stops perfectly so the back of the truck is close to the garbage. I went tanning on the weekend at a tanning bed for my first time ever, in attempt to even out my tan and get rid of my glowing white hands from wearing gloves all day. My girlfriend talked me into it, and I ended up enjoying it, almost fell asleep in there, I only went for 12 minutes but my legs sure are burnt today. I had to take a cold shower when I got home. My pet peeve for today is ants, there everywhere. Some people put bleach in there bins or spray there garbage bags to keep insects and birds away, but remember if you do this we do not have to take your garbage and can leave you a sticker! Don't forget to stop by and visit my current tennant! One Old Green Bus.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Very Hot Day, And A Very Cold Beer

Today was very hot, it started out overcast but cleared up by 11:00am I haven't posted the past couple days because i've been sooooo tired, i've been workind 12 and 13 hour days, because the guy who usually runs the show is on vacation and the guys running it now seem to be making some bad decisions. I learned that our company gets fined $250 per street not done by 5:00. There has definatly been some fines given for the past couple days. I almost passed out today from the heat, and beeing exhausted from the long days. I got dizzy and my legs started to shake, but I made it. One person left 2 cold cans of Pepsi out for me today, and another man brought me out two cold cans of beer (Thanks!). I gave one of each of these to my driver, and I saved the beer for after work. I've been on the crapiest garbage truck of our fleet all week. this truck is so bad that it overheats and shuts off frequently. Apparently it is not properly registerd either and we spent the day avoiding the department of transportation, who found one of our trucks and sent it back to the shop today. Unfortunatly they didn't find us though, I was trying to get my driver to go park on a main road so they would, but he wouldn't go for it. Well time to finish off this beer and grab a bite to eat before I call it a night, I better see some overtime on my next check. My pet peeve for the day is people who fill up cardboard boxes with garbage, then put them out the night before when it's going to rain. As soon as I pick them up there is a mess everywhere, so today I started putting a sticker on every cardboard box stating it was an unacceptable contatiner and I would not take it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Safety Jerk Strikes Again

Got to work today and found out my paycheck still isn't in, I should have received it yesterday, but thats typical. We were backing out of the yard where we park the trucks, then out of no where, the saftey jerk comes over giving us heat because im suppose to get out and guide the truck back. This would just make you look like an idiot considering its one large empty lot that your backing up in. Anyway I flew through my roots today, even passed the recycle truck, which dosn't usually happen. It friday so we had a pretty laid back day, we took 3 breaks today so we wouldn't have to go back out for a second load. We were actually done at 12 but didnt get back to the shop untill 2. If we would have had to do a second load it would have set us back about 2 and a half hours though so it worked out good. My driver found an amp today for his guitar, it appears to be fine just needs a new plug wired up to it. I found a large peice of copper pipe too. I save this up and i'll take it back someday, copper is worth $3.00 lb where I live right now so its worthwhile. Some of the garbage slingers collect about $70 a week off the copper. I came home last night ate, had a shower, and fell asleep. Didn't even get to post a blog. Not much happend yesterday anyway, I found a car tapedeck that im going to try hooking up in my car, since someone smashed out my window and stole my cd player. Oh and someone left a steel bowl with ice in it and 3 cans of pop for us. Thanks it was great! My pet peeve for the day is people who complain about the mess left in front of their house from the birds ripping the garbage bags open. We will not clean this up, so stop giving me dirty looks when I leave it there.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Go Fast or Get Fired

Today I was brought into the office where I was informed that two of the guys hired around the same time I was were let go for beeing to slow on the job. I helped ensure my job security today by going about as fast as I could, putting the other guy who was hired the same time I was to shame by doing almost double the amount he did in the same amount of time. Heat exhaustion allmost got the best of me today, it was so muggy. I drank 6 liters of water and never had to go to the bathroom once, thats how bad you sweat on this job. We were nearly in an accident today as my truck was backing up at the end of a road to turn around and go back up the other side, when a car decided to turn behind the backing truck (smart guy). A newfoundlander pulled up beside us afterwards who seemed to be more agitated by this then my driver, saying how we should chase after him and give him a couple good plows to his mouth followed by some newfineese I couldn't make out. This morning I was doing compost bins, and it was my first time to the compost recycling plant. They keep the doors shut at this plant, im not sure why. As soon as the doors open, the most rancid smell hits you, it's so hot inside that it instantly fogged up all the mirrors and windows on the truck. This building is full of methane gas im told, and not to light any cigarettes. You could actually see the steam and gases coming off the pile of composting material, it looked as though it was already burning and the smoke was rolling off of it. It was a long hot day today so im gonna cut it short. My pet peeve for the day is people who decide to strike up a conversation with the garbage man, its not that I don't want to talk to you, or hear your summerised version of your life events, but I do wanna get my job done as fast as possible and go home. I get paid by the day, not by the hour.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Today I set out on a truck with just me and the driver, normally I have an extra person with me. Of course we had the biggest route of all today, and once again I was on the crappy garbage truck. The heat was exhausting today, and my water was all warm. But I made it through the day. This was the first day I received a tip, a lady who was moving had about 3 times her limit in garbage out, but we took it anyway. She tipped me $20 which I split with the driver. I got caught today wearing no safety glasses by our safety jerk, who was driving around stalking me for about 20 minutes. Another bad thing about this job is the fact that I have to wear gloves all day, so im left with a farmers tan, and white hands (very sexy). I might have to take up going to the tanning beds to try and even it out a bit. I had a differnt driver today who I thought was going to quit (thats how bad this truck is). He was unloading the truck at the dump and there were some technical difficulties and I thought for sure he was going to beat the mirrors off the truck as he was running around the truck cursing in frustration, I had a good little laugh while this was going on. Schools out and all the kids are running around, they either hate the garbage truck or love it, one little guy about 8 or 9 followed me around for a good hour today, taking the lids off the garbage cans for me, and moving the green compost bins out of the way before I got to each stop. Most kids just get in the way but this actually cut a bit of time off my day. Thanks for the help Donald! My pet peeve for today drives me crazy, I swear some people take there garbage cans, fill them up with kitty litter, then place them under there rainspot for 2 weeks, somehow manage to drag it to there curb, then expect us to lift this 400 pound bucket about 4 feet and dump it in the back of the truck. Please if you are one of these people, put your kitty litter in grocery bags, get a lid for your garbage can, or drill a hole in the bottom of your can so the water can drain, and keep them away from your downspouts! Talk at yall tomorrow.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A "Garbage" Garbage Truck and a Small Injury

Today was a pretty easy day, howver we received a new truck from another province, which infact is not very new at all, and of course I was stuck using it. It took awhile to catch on how it worked since the handles were slightly differnt, and there is a button you have to hold in for safety reasons so you cant reach the back of the truck at the same time. Whats the fun in that? I was working with a guy today who aparently is on the verge of loosing his job from what I hear, for beeing to slow. He has had 2 injuries in the past month, and today he cut open his elbow from broken glass in a bag. For all you readers out there, please remember to either label your bags with broken glass, or put it in a seperate cardboard box. You may remember its in there when your dragging your trash to the curb, but it's impossible for us to tell when were loading them on the truck. The injury wasn't too serious, maybe a stitch or two. Luckily my most serious injury so far was a bad sunburn, which was itchy and peeling today, I learned my lessons and now I coat myself in sunscreen, even if it's overcast. I wish I new how to fix TV's, microwaves and printers, because every second or third house seems to be throwing them away. Oddly enough, in the 20 tonns of garbage we loaded on our truck today, I didnt see one barbecue. Atleast I made it home early today, especially since it turned out to be such a nice day. hopefully it will be the same tomorrow. My pet peeve for today is people who tie their lids to their garbage cans, unless there is a garbage bag in it, but if its all loose garbage inside, when im dumping it, the lid always flips up and hits me in the head. See everyone tomorrow!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Wet Day On The Job

Friday was a wet day at work, it was pooring from the time I left the house until about an hour before it was time to go home, makes for a long day but I made it. One house I stopped at I was throwing bags of garbage in the truck, and next thing i hear a loud bang, as a bottle wizzed past my head, and garbage went flying. It was like someone had made a mini bomb and put it in the garbage bag. I was not injured but it definatly shocked me, as I looked at the pop bottle smoking in the bushes. I also found out today that a guy I was working with the other day was telling people I was "too slow" and I went and sat in the truck so he could finish the job alone. I laughed as I informed the guy I was working with today that infact i went to sit in the truck and told him in not so polite words that he could finish himself because he was hitting me with every second item he threw in the truck, trying to show off for another garbage truck in the area. I guesse every work place has its drama. On top of all of this, I was stuck in a truck that I could not smoke in. Anyway we'll see how tomorrow goes, and what exciting things will happen. Theres a chance of rain in the morning, but hopefully it will hold off. See everyone tomorrow!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I have recently started a job as a garbage man, or sanitational engineer. It is one of the harder labour jobs i've committed myself to. Sure it looked easy enough, ride on the back of a garbage truck all day, but I found out the hard way that there is a lot more to it then that. My figers are cramped up right now as I type this post. The garbage man is a very dirty job, but someone has to do it or we would be plagued with mess and disease would spread. This job is not all bad though, get to see lots, and surprisingly enough, the girls seem to love the garbage man. From my experience so far, people in the most part are friendly, and often give us things like drinks, snacks, and ocassionally money. Its incredible the things people throw away, including money. Just the other day i was loading a bag of garbage on the truck when it broke open from the weight of two grocery bags full of change, mostly pennies but not only. There was atleast $20 to $30 just thrown away because someone did not want to take the time to roll it. Where I work we have compost bins and regular garbage collection. Today was my first day emptying the compost bins, It was much easier then garbage, but im told it can become very boring. It was a relativly basic day today, nothing to exciting, but one thing to keep in mind next time your going to throw away your barbecue, take the top off and recycle it, around here they pay $15.00 each for them at the metal recycle plants. And if you are ever in need of spare computer parts, take a drive around, there are lots of computers and monitors being thrown away every day!