Guys... seriously... ALL the content warnings on this one. Everything you're about to read is gross and is probably going to trigger at least one of you into dry heaving. Put down your snacks before going in on this one.
The people who handle our trash deserve all the tips, all the applause, all the appreciation. It's a job not very many people want - but it can be lucrative, and it's absolutely a must.
Living in Manhattan, it wasn't uncommon for trash to pile up on the street... I thought I knew bad trash. I was so wrong. Living in Florida changed my whole perspective.
Let's play a game of imagination, shall we? After a particularly bad hurricane, debris can knock out the power, water and close roadways for weeks at a time. And it's always hot in hurricane season. No power means no refrigeration. That means rotting food that needs to go into the trash.
No water means nobody can flush toilets - which means urine and feces can pile up, or you have to start using bags and bottles and putting things in the trash.
Oh - but the roads are closed, sometimes for weeks. That means the garbage collectors can't get to your neighborhood. Imagine the stench of everyone's sweat, weeks worth of rotting food, and urine and feces festering in the sun. This can go on for days, weeks, or on rare occasions well over a month. That smell and the increased bacterial load can lead to a lot of people getting sick - which means more human waste and vomit gets added to the mix. It's not fun.
Tip. Your. Waste. Disposal. People.
Trust me. You have no idea how much you depend on them.
Reddit user atripp_17 asked:
I apologize to the man who had the pleasure to open our can in the early 80s
Dad put the entrails of a roadkill deer in with the severed head on top.
NYC sanitation worker for 15 years here. I've seen my fair share of gross stuff.
This one from the East Village a few year ago takes the cake.
A full size wax statue of Bea Arthur from the golden girls, wearing S&M gear and covered in maple syrup and glitter.
That's Not Rice
I was a garbage man on the mid nineties in the Hamptons. One day I backed up my rear loading garbage truck to a small dumpster at a fish market.
The stench was terrible but you get used to it. I turned the engine off for whatever reason, maybe to check something, jumped out of the truck to hook up the dumpster and noticed that the lid was open and covered with rice. Rice everywhere. I couldn't believe that someone would dump something so recklessly. Then I noticed that the rice was moving. It was maggots. The maggots were moving. One maggot does not make a sound but when thousands move, it sounds like an egg frying.
I gagged at the sound.
The Scaffie's Stories
Never had an account until today, just enjoyed reading people's interesting stories but I have so much to say about this I thought I'll finally sign up. So, I've worked for 4 and a half years as a garbage man or as we call it in Scotland, UK, a "binman" or "scaffie". I technically deal with special uplifts; removing fridges, house clearances, waterlogged sofas, knocking down and removing sheds etc although I've also worked in the back of a "garbage truck".
So.. Here's some of the weird sh*t I've seen:
In the local newspaper a mentally ill Man walked into an old ladies house and cut her hand off, put it in her fridge and waited to be arrested. We picked up the fridge that the hand was in. The hand apparently got reattached so it wasn't in the fridge when we got it.
Maggots. Everywhere. In bags. On bags. On floors.
On house clearances twice opened a door (with council skeleton key) to find someone already in the house. Just have to apologize and leave. The weirdest one was our driver walking in and saying how much of a sh*thole the place was then realizing the guy was sitting up in bed. All you can do is apologize and back out the door. Guy in bed must have been on something cause he just laughed and turned over to go back to sleep. Someone walks into your locked house without any notice that's not the reaction I'd expect.
Found dead rats lying amongst bags.
Countless sex toys. You'd think people would wrap them up before binning them.
One house clearance, there was a guy who had built his own sauna in his house and had a wall to wall room full of gay pornos on VHS.
Hoarders. Cleared out a lot of hoarders and its never nice. One old guy, we'd clear his house out every 2 months, just one room stacked to the ceiling with bags of rubbish. F*ck knows where he got it all from.
Houses where people have died and you can see where and how.
Jerk Chicken Is Off The Menu Forever
Garbage man here 9 years and counting. Full skin and head of a pig also of a deer, the pig was laid of flat like a steam roller ran over it in the hopper. I have only ever puked once and that was due to buckets of rotten chicken in a jerk marinade, the smell was so strong my truck stunk for 3 days.
I did do community service in NYC after getting arrested when I was like 16 on a sanitation truck for the parks.
I lifted up a steel garbage can and a bunch of fucking dog sh*t (or maybe even human sh*t?) fell out of it all over my clothes with rotten milk also. Someone took rotten milk and sh*t and just filled the whole can up with it. My sweater was ruined and I stunk for the whole day in like 90 degree weather. To top it off I couldn't even see any of this because a 50 lb AC unit was covering it all so that was a nice surprise.
I'm in the industry. Stone years back, mixed recyclables that had already been dropped off at a facility for processing were being moved to a conveyor belt when a body was found. Some dude sleeping in a dumpster got emptied into a truck and crushed.
Santa Teresita's WitchGiphy
So, I have a big brother who is into stop-motion animation since several years ago. He has been doing short films and puppets for other directors. In his first short film, he had a scene where his humanoid-like puppet suffered a terrible transformation, so he had an extra puppet all pink and slimy with veins and liquid paint for that sequence. Short film is finished, the rent place where he filmed had to be cleaned. Obviously. Since it was of no longer use/importance to him, he threw away the slimy puppet.
Later on, apparently, a hobo was digging up the trash bags he left behind at the street, and he found the pink, slimy, all veins covered puppet, and fucking freaked out thinking it was a fetus.
Police were called. They investigated the puppet, thinking it was maybe an illegal abortion or something like that, found out it was a fake. But all the neighborhood (Santa Teresita) wouldn't hear it. They were convinced the police were covering the truth.
For a while, rumor had it that "Santa Teresita's witch" was living somewhere in the neighborhood. My brother was accidentally a witch. An evil witch performing satanic rituals on "aborted fetuses."
I do the trash part time, and the only thing that really gets me is the IED sh*t device from one of the project developments.
Someone in here is either caring for someone (or themselves) and fills a trash bag with human shit, ties it off, and tosses it in a trash can. My theory is that they're using the trash bag for a bedpan liner (like some people do for a litter box), but I could be wrong.
You don't know you've been targeted until you hit the ram to compact the trash in the truck hopper....then it EXPLODES and slides all down the back of the hopper. The first time I felt a little queasy; the kid I was working with just threw up. I guess changing diapers prepares you a tiny, tiny bit for the experience?
Best diet plan out there, I tell you.
Bonus: A Little Heads Up
Ever see vultures circling a garbage bin? Nature's little heads up that you might not want to breathe through your nose when you empty that one.
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.