Thursday 10th June, 2010

Trash collectors get no respect

Image courtesy Fidelis Onyedikam

Next time you are stuck behind the large trucks that pick up society’s waste, you should remember that they are providing an important service.

As the traffic piles up on a narrow Dulwich street, driver’s tempers flare as they queue behind the environmental service truck collecting piles of garbage.

One driver angrily exclaimed: “Why can’t you lot do this job in the night!”

But the patient drivers had more sympathy for the situation: “I kept my cool whenever I got trapped behind the truck and wind up my window and endure it.  There is no point getting furious with them.  They are not looking cheerful anyway for this time of the morning.”

Stereotypes don’t help – many people think rubbish collectors are arrogant and sloppy, but worst of all - unapologetic about blocking the roads during morning rush hours.

Work must go on

One of the collectors, Peter Edos, described feeling down about the situation: “We are used to being shouted at by road users. They say that our vehicle stinks.  You notice people in their cars winding up their windows to prevent the smell of the household rubbish from contaminating their car.  It bothered me when I started the job a few years ago but right now, I can only do what I have to do.”

In response to blocking traffic, he said: “We work to a pattern, a diagram and time.  If one is caught up in our frequent stopping, I can’t do anything about it.  My advice to anyone who noticed us on time is to find another route rather than sticking behind our truck and insulting us.”

He adds that they do, in fact, work all kinds of shifts, including overnight – but it doesn’t really matter because somebody will get stuck behind them no matter what.


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