EVER wondered what it would be like to be a garbo?
Lancaster’s Nathan Jackson, 40, has worked for Foott Waste and Recycling for the past six years and says he loves what he does.
‘‘It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it comes back to the people you work for . . . your colleagues and the culture,’’ he said.
Having worked at Girgarre’s Heinz factory for more than 15 years as a machine operator before it closed down, Mr Jackson got his truck licence in an attempt to expand his employment opportunities.
‘‘A mate told me about the job at Foott Waste, but they wanted experienced drivers, so I didn’t think I was a chance,’’ he said.
‘‘But (owner) Peter Foott said to me how are you meant to get experience if no-one will give you a go.’’
While the Greater Shepparton City Council looks after your kerbside wheelie bins, Foott Waste and Recycling deals with commercial and industrial waste and recycling.
‘‘My 5am to 3pm pick-up route changes everyday,’’ Mr Jackson said.
‘‘But it suits my lifestyle because the wife can drop the kids off at school and I can pick them up.’’
Every garbage man has a tale to tell about the early-morning shenanigans they see, particularly on the weekend.
‘‘People that like to fall asleep in bins is the last thing you’d expect to see at 5am,’’ Mr Jackson said.
Finding someone passed out in a bin is a scary prospect for garbage truck drivers — as Mr Jackson can attest.‘‘The lid was open a little bit and boxes started flying out . . . I just thought it was a cat . . . but then this head pops out of nowhere,’’ Mr Jackson said.
About 50, three cubic-metre bins of waste can be compacted into Mr Jackson’s frontlift truck. After the compacter is full, the truck will head to the Cosgrove Landfill to dispose of the waste.
‘‘My mates always joke — make sure you have a shower next time you come around — but I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it,’’ he said.