The Mayor is talking trash and it's not about sports

Most people associate “talking trash” to the sports world. A lot of athletes try to intimidate and belittle their opponent by saying nasty and unflattering things about their abilities to perform. However, as Mayor talking trash, it takes on a totally different meaning. I’m talking real trash. On Monday, June 13, I had the privilege to ride on the back of our city’s sanitation or as most people would call it, our trash truck. I went to bed at 9 Sunday night knowing that 4 a.m. is pretty early and that Monday was expected to be extremely hot. Well, 4 a.m. came sooner than expected. By 4:45, I was at our public works building and was greeted by Derrick Young, Shaun McAlister and Kelvin Hubert, all of whom looked at me as if I was crazy and did I have any idea as to what I was getting myself into. I had been told the previous week that Monday was the most difficult day because it had the most stops and may take 10-10 ½ hours. Smart me, I chose Monday. I chose Monday because I wanted to experience firsthand what our city sanitation workers do each day. Well, I promise you that Monday did not disappoint me. By 5:00 AM, I was hanging onto the back of the truck as Kelvin drove us to our very first stop. I honestly do not remember where that stop was as it was still dark. Shaun McAlister then proceeded to instruct me on the finer points of operating the lift on the back of the truck when I noticed a strong smell of skunk. Great, I thought. I am going to be sprayed by a skunk on my very first stop. Luckily, the skunk wanted no part of the trash truck or me. By 9 a.m., we had been on the job for four hours and the heat had become pretty intense, or so I thought. The real heat was hours away. Both Shaun and Derrick asked me what time I planned to leave, and they looked perplexed when I told them when the job was finished. You see, picking up approximately 900-1,000 trash carts or 26,980 pounds of trash takes a long time. It took us over 10.5 hours. I have been asked if the smell made me sick, and the answer is no, but on several occasions I came pretty close. You see, many people in our city do not seem to know what a trash bag is and have never cleaned out their trash cart. This may sound disgusting and gross, but I probably saw at least 50 million maggots on my day of trash duty. By 3:30, my feet were killing me, and when Derrick said we only had six more carts to pick up, I wasn’t sure my feet were going to make it. To top things off, someone pulls up and rolls down the window and says “why don’t you do this (bad word) early in the morning so you aren’t in everybody’s way?” Let me tell you, the people who work on our sanitation truck are some of the hardest working people I have ever known. I thought about titling this article ten and a half hours of respect, but it is much more than ten and a half hours. Our sanitation workers do their job five days a week, every week without a whole lot of thanks. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Derrick Young, Shaun McAlister and Kelvin Hubert and the work they do for our citizens. I really believe the best part of being mayor is not what I get to do, but the people I get to do it with. One thing for sure, when I look at a sanitation truck from now on, it will be in a manner of total respect. (Bob McLean is mayor of Clinton.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902


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