Garbage Man Day

Garbage Man Day - Monday, June 17, 2024

Just imagine what the world would be like if you had to live without the services of your local, friendly garbage professional. There would be mountains of trash piled up outside every home and business. And it would stink!

Fortunately, there is a group of tenacious and dedicated people out there who periodically collect and dispose of your refuse. Garbage Man Day, therefore, is a chance for everyone to stop whatever they are doing and spend a little time appreciating the hard work of these diligent souls. 

Learn about Garbage Man Day 

Sanitation professionals – also known as garbage men – are vital for functioning, hygienic civilization. But despite their daily toil, they don’t always get the appreciation they deserve for their work. 

Garbage Man Day seeks to address this injustice. It is an opportunity for regular people to appreciate the efforts and dedication of committed waste experts in their local community and across the globe. 

People who collect waste from homes and businesses go by several names. But whatever you call them, it is hard to imagine life without them. Their job extends well beyond collecting your bags of trash and chucking them in the dumpster truck. They manage waste throughout the entire disposal process, from collections to recycling, to landfill. Increasingly, they also play a role in local environmental support and conservation. With their help, cities can safely rid themselves of potentially dangerous and hazardous waste products and maintain public health. 

History of Garbage Man Day 

Garbage Man Day is the brainchild of John D. Arwood, the owner of a specialist waste management and portable sanitation firm. He launched his business in 1997 and then used the internet as a way to expand it to multiple locations.

Arwood believes caring for all of the people in the community. Several years into his business venture, he realized that there was a lack of public recognition for the work that his waste disposal staff were doing. Inspired, he personally funded the first Garbage Man Day in 2011. For Arwood, the joy is in seeing communities show their appreciation for these tireless souls who dedicate their days to removing trash from the streets. 

Garbage Man Day was officially renamed Waste & Recycling Workers Week in 2019. The organizers give several reasons for this. First, the industry encompasses more than just garbage collection. Those in the waste industry deal with issues as diverse as sanitation and land use. There is also an entire industry dedicated to providing recycling services. 

Second, there are many thousands of men and women involved in waste and recycling efforts across the world. The organizers, therefore, felt that the new name would better represent that diversity and avoid any confusion. “Man” in the original context was an abbreviation of “human.” It was not gender-specific. 

The focus of Garbage Man Day, therefore, has changed over the years. Still, there is also a high degree of continuity. The organizers will continue to provide the same resources as they always did. Labels and downloadable logos, however, will change to reflect the new branding. There will also be opportunities for people to involve themselves in lobbying for city authorities to issue a proclamation, officially recognizing the day in the calendar. 

Garbage Man Day has grown tremendously in popularity over the years. Companies, organizations, and communities from all over the world have become intimately involved in the campaign. Engagement has been so high that many believe that the event will continue to expand in size and scope in the years to come. 

Ever the innovator, Arwood recently launched Space Waste Solutions to figure out how to deal with the growing problem of trash orbiting the Earth. 

How to celebrate Garbage Man Day 

Garbage Man Day celebrates all of the people in our society charged with keeping both you and the environment safe. Traditionally waste and recycling professionals received gifts, and thanks for their work, but what can you do as an individual to celebrate this special occasion? 

First, you can show that you care about your local garbage professionals’ wellbeing. Members of the public often go about their business, oblivious to the hardships and dangers that waste disposal workers face. But the fact of the matter is that many work long hours on public streets and highways, continuously exposed to the risks of passing traffic. Motorists, therefore, can observe Garbage Man Day by slowing down as they pass workers. 

Garbage disposal is also physically demanding work, especially in hot weather. Some members of the public, therefore, like to provide waste disposal professionals with cold, fresh water to keep them hydrated on hot days. It’s a nice touch that can make a huge difference in how they feel. 

The rate of injury in the garbage collection industry is around ten times higher than it is across the rest of the economy. While it is the role of management to mitigate some of these risks, there’s a lot that the general public can do too to prevent harm. Garbage collection professionals, for instance, are at high risk of injury from hazardous materials and sharps. Obviously, poisons, harsh chemicals, and biological waste require professional disposal. But even things like broken glass, needles, shards of metal can put workers at risk. One of your activities in the run-up to Garbage Man Day, therefore, could be to ensure that all your waste is safe for manual handling. 

Sometimes, though, the most straightforward methods for showing your appreciation are the best. Nothing says “job well done” better than a simple “thank you” note. You could even go up to your local waste disposal professional in person and let them know that you’re grateful for all the work that they do. It could be the only thanks they get all year. 

Garbage Man Day only comes around once per year, so don’t waste it. If possible, try to avoid recycled gestures. Do something memorable—the more love you can dump on those who provide this essential service, the better. 

Trashy jokes are always the best, aren’t they?

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