A Sanitation Worker Calls Indiana People Lazy as He Picks up Their Overflowing Trash Cans

A sanitation worker complains about an overflowing trash can, suggesting that the people who can't contain their garbage are lazy. Is this true?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Aug. 24 2023, Published 4:12 p.m. ET

You know what they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure. But what if that one person's trash cup runneth over? Can trash still be rebranded into treasure if it quite literally cannot be contained? Can a person have too much trash-turned-treasure? For one sanitation worker in Indiana, nothing frosts his cookies more than an improperly packed trash can.

Is it an act of defiance on the part of the owners, or is it merely a sign of disrespect? You be the judge. Who is the real waste?

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Are these people being too trashy? A sanitation worker weighs in.

The @debo7870 TikTok account stumbled upon an Indiana sanitation worker taking one of his clients to task regarding their curbside trash presentation. "Look at this can," he says while zooming in on a pristine receptacle. Not a hint of trash can be seen as his vehicle smoothly picks it up then empties it.

Drawing of a trash can with the words "Don't Be A Garbage Human" written on it.
Source: Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Please don't be a garbage human!

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"Alright, now look at this can," he says with disdain, revealing a bit of a mess. Actually, the sanitation worker almost sounds like a disappointed parent. It's as if the trash can has once again broken curfew after repeated reminders that it must be home no later than 11.

The offending trash can is not that bad. I've certainly seen worse. It's absolutely overflowing, but said overflow is due to too many trash bags. At least actual garbage isn't littering the street. However this begs the question, what are the company's policies when it comes to a bulging bin?

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I spoke with someone from Ace Solid Waste, Inc., the company who employs the sanitation worker, and they told me that if a customer knows they are going to have a bit too much trash, they should alert Ace ahead of time. They will be charged extra. Also, if they don't contact Ace before trash day, they will still be charged extra. Either way, people pay for more waste.

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I'm not sure the sanitation worker from the TikTok is aware of this policy as he asks if the two houses should pay the same. Apparently they aren't. The one whose garbage runneth over is definitely getting dinged. Either way, I don't believe that's the real source of his ire.

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After lifting the jammed trash can into the compactor once, there is still trash left on the ground. "Give me a minute," says the driver as he hops out to put the fallen garbage into the now empty trash can for another trip up to the compactor. It seems as if this extra bit of movement is what has annoyed this guy. What's funny is that he is calling some people of Indiana lazy for their overflowing trash can, yet a 60 second trip out of his truck as left him aggravated.

I also asked the person from Ace Solid Waste if occasionally exiting the truck to fetch the trash that didn't fit was part of their job description. They sort of gave me a yes and no answer. It's not expressly mentioned, but the workers know that that's something they will have to do. To be clear, this person is not hanging onto the back of a garbage truck, manually lifting every receptacle. This appears to be rare. Obviously bad weather would make this more difficult, but all-in-all, it's looks fairly straightforward.

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People in the comments are not on the sanitation worker's side.

Two folks got into a fairly heated exchange in the replies when it came to the sanitation worker getting out of the truck. "You poor soul," says a TikTok user by the name of Mark A Church. "I pray you find the strength to make it through such a daunting task every day." Now, that isn't very sympathetic, but I get where they are coming from. Looking at this job from the outside, it seems like it involves mostly sitting and pushing a button.

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AshTheTransTrucker responded by letting Mark know that depending on the area, a truck might make "600-1200" stops per day "in several cities with multiple one hour trips to the landfill." They went on to say, "I work in sanitation. There is no downtime." Another person hopped in to say they are a nurse and are on their feet 95 percent of the day: "I chose that. He chose this."

What bums me out the most about this TikTok is how the driver thinks the onus to pay more should be on the individual and not the company who made over $5 billion in 2020. If this gentleman is working harder or doing labor beyond his job description, Ace should pay him more.

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