Do you know your garbage man, who hurriedly comes down your lane?
Do you know your garbage man probably deals with constant knee pain?
Do you know the garbage man can tell if you’ve been out of town?
Do you know the garbage man can tell if you’ve had guests come down?
Do you know the garbage man can pick up on your morning routine?
Like your daily running route while he collects what you deem unclean?
Do you know your garbage man can tell you which dogs are friendly from house to house?
Do you know your garbage man can tell who secretly rents out a room in-house?
Do you know the garbage man has to pretend he can’t see or hear what’s going on inside?
Or that he has memorized where all of the portajohns are, when he has to go while still outside?
Do you know your garbage man can tell you where all the famous and wealthy reside?
Do you know your garbage man can probably tell when the elderly have recently died?
The garbage man keeps our communities safe and clean
So next time you see him, best not to be mean
Because the garbage man probably knows more about you than you care to think about
It may be worth giving him a smile as he goes to collect more garbage day in and day out
I didn’t write that rudimentary poem to scare you away from the people who collect our trash. But when I went on a ride-along with a garbage man on Monday, I was quite amazed about the stories we can tell to the world just through what we throw away and how we go about doing it. Garbage men do thankless work, but you don’t realize how necessary it is until you actually see them do it. I rode with a garbage man who has been collecting trash for as long as I have been alive. Just by collecting our trash daily, he could have probably been a top candidate for the Town’s historian. He could tell me how neighborhoods, houses and even people have changed over the years with a level of detail that I doubt few people living in Chapel Hill could match.
If you want to know more about where you live, I would suggest trying to shadow a garbage truck; the things you’ll see…the things you’ll learn.