Where would we be without our trash collectors?

Tracy Brown, Jamal Palmore & Tyrone Lucas - my refuse collectors!

It was 100 degrees in Atlanta yesterday. And the sanitation workers of Mabry Road were hard at work… as usual.

My garbage is picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays every week. Most days, I forget until I hear the rumble of the truck, and then I sprint out, dragging my giant trash receptacle behind me. Tracy, the driver, will kindly wait on me to get there, and even back up the truck if I haven’t quite made it. (Maybe it’s because he and his wife Jerri have six kids  & he’s used to waiting!) Jamal is always wearing shades and looking like a supercool Pirate of the Caribbean. And Tyrone is the quiet one with the sweet smile.

Like it says on the truck, it is for the PUBLIC, and man, do they WORK.

I’m in awe of people who do the jobs that keep the world on track and get precious little credit for it. I wouldn’t like to work their job, and I wouldn’t be in a good mood when I did it. But my three sanitation workers: Tracy Brown, Jamal Palmore and Tyrone Lucas,  are really nice. They wave, they wait on trash slackers like me, and they’ll take stuff that I probably shouldn’t set out – like a box of drawers that is ridiculously heavy.

For all the above reasons, and for the fact that I think it’s pretty cool the way they hang off the back of the truck and swing down in one fluid movement, lifting and hurling the bags in a graceful arc into the maw of the truck … I’m giving my $100 today to the 3 guys who take away all the trash I create, twice a week, rain or shine, heat or cold — and handle the job with a professional attitude and a wave.

Thanks, Tracy, Jamal & Tyrone, for all you do!

14 thoughts on “Where would we be without our trash collectors?

  1. Love it! There can’t be a more demanding job in an Atlantan summer. Thank you for recognizing these fine people.

  2. Thank you. It makes me think of the fact that jobs like these are so often done in our country by people we otherwise despise. Perhaps not trash collection because it is a government job. But house cleaning and yard work and most definitely all kinds of farm work, is so often done by immigrants. Right now it is often assumed that all immigrants are here illegally and regardless of whether it is true so many people despise immigrants, do not want them here, think they are taking jobs from “real Americans” and want laws passed to prohibit them from being here. All in spite of the reality that most immigrants – regardless of whether they entered the country legally – do work which nobody else wants to do.

  3. Thanks, Betty. You reminded me of my late mother who always remembered our dedicated trash guys when I was growing up. Sometimes, it was money, food or clothes for their kids.

  4. Awesome Betty! Thank you so much for reminding us to be more appreciative to all of our “everyday heros” who perform jobs that others take for granted. Wishing you a wonderful time at your family reunion and God bless you!

  5. You’re so right, Betty. This is one more of those jobs that we usually fail to appreciate — until they don’t get done (see Naples, Italy, 2007).

    You continue to brighten the world. Thank you.

  6. I totally love your choice today!!! I’m truly grateful for the trash collectors – they work so hard and deserve a lot more recognition! Thanks for doing your part. I hope you put a smile on 3 guys faces.

  7. Bravo Betty for bringing unsung heroes like these 3 garbage collectors to our attention.

    I was interested to read that you still have a twice weekly garbage collection. We only have it once a week.

  8. Thank you, Betty! I am heartened every day as I read the latest thing you’ve found, and bringing it back home like this is splendid. Yes, indeed, I say – gratitude and blessings to all those who do the not-so-nice jobs that are essential to keep our society running smoothly.

  9. Wednesday is my trash day – favorite day of the week. I’m so grateful someone takes all that stuff away! I’m going to reward my guys this week because it’s been 90 degrees for too many Wednesdays and still they come. My grandson (at3yrs old) stopped his neighborhood trash man to thank him and it blew the man away- he was so happy – said it made his day!

  10. none of us likes to be taken for granted, so I appreciate the reminder to acknowledge each and every person along the path of my life.

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