I am often asked what it is like to haul garbage in Lee’s Summit. What do you find? How much can a truck hold? What do you do when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Etc… I believe a lot of people find garbage interesting but would never want to haul garbage themselves. I would like to take this opportunity to feed your curiosity and describe a little bit about the waste industry.
First I have been in this business all of my life and the smell does not bother me at this point. I do not mean to offend anyone but yes, several tons of everyone’s garbage mixed together does have an unpleasant odor.
Now that I have the most frequent on-the-job question answered I can get to the trash treasures. We are professionals trying to make a living so please don’t assume we go digging for curbside treasures. It is difficult for some to witness laptops, flat screen televisions, or other items of high value to be crushed with incredible force. Personally the best find of my life was a television but since I am from an older generation it was not the flat screen you might find present day. It was an RCA 36 inch ProScan behemoth with built in Tivo. At the time this was one of Kmart’s high end models and right when my tube went out I was like a kid on Christmas day to discover this gem.
As far as how many homes one truck can pick up before empting it really depends on the size of the truck and the level of compaction. Most of our trucks used for garbage are 25 yards and can pack anywhere from 8 to 11 tons which is around 20,000 pounds. That is a lot of weight for one guy to chuck around each day every day of the week. That amount of weight will typically cover 500 stops.
Rain or Shine
As far as the weather goes when it snows we haul, when it is 100 degrees we haul, when it rains we haul, when it is below zero you guessed it we haul. If we do not meet our daily demands our reputation will be crushed so we have no choice but to brave the elements. My fellow workers and I take a lot pride in our reputation and reliability so we will brave any weather when needed.
No place like home
I do enjoy the industry I am a part of and love hauling in Lee’s Summit. What I believe makes Lee’s Summit routes unique from other towns is all of the different communities within the city. One route hauling the back alleys of historic downtown Lees Summit is different than cruising around Raintree lake or from the larger country like plots on the east side. These changes of scenery always leave my crew and I out of the monotony of repeating the same routes weekly and is what make Lee’s Summit great to live and work in. Dedicated to my profession, I work 7 days a week so if you see me around town and want more details of the anything regarding the garbage industry please don’t hesitate to stop and ask.