Garbage workers have a job that most people really do not envy. Coming home every night, reeking of the filth of whatever town or neighbourhood they collect in. Having to deal with absurd complaints from people who can't begin to summon up some degree of sympathy. Dealing with the horrors of what people throw out of their lives.
Sure, sometimes it is a great job. There are many garbage workers who have found brand new electronics, gold, diamonds, thousands of dollars in cash, and many more valuables. But compare that to the experiences of the majority, and surely these occasional prizes in no way make up for the terrors that are found in dumpsters, garbage bins, and bags the world over.
Below are twenty weird and/or disturbing things found by garbage workers on their runs (or off the beaten path, having been called away from their route to deal with something special). Some of the things are pretty damn disturbing...and some are pretty damn disgusting...so enjoy!
20 A Can Of Kittens
Ok...so take these cute, cuddly little kittens. Wonderful little creatures that are just so adorable. Now think in just what way could these little scamps be any significant part of this article...that's right. Some very, very, very sick person is of course involved. A garbage worker once came across a can of rotting, obviously dead, cats. Not a bag of kittens...a can! Now there really isn't that much more to this story.
The garbage man's only real recount of the story was as follows: "Some sick f*ck had a trash can filled with rotting dead cats. The smell is unforgettable." If that's not enough to paint a gruesome picture though, then this author has no idea what is. The very thought of someone having a can's worth of cats and either killing them, or losing them to neglect, and then not caring enough to bury, or at least burn them. Oh no. The absolutely abhorrent human being who, in one way or another, had possession of these cats, decided the best way to rid himself of them was to toss them into a trash can and leave them ripe and rotting for the garbage guys to get rid of.
19 Jugs Filled With Urine... Which Eventually Poured Over The Workers
Unfortunately for the teller of this story, the amount of urine that showered him was not simply the amount of a sample cup. Much worse than that, unfortunately. As it happens, there was a dumpster out behind a motel that was being consistently filled with gallon jugs of urine. Why? There were supposedly some undocumented tenants living with their family in one of the rooms. In order to shake off guesses of just how many people were staying there, they would piss in these jugs and toss them in the dumpster (apparently the amount of flushing this family would otherwise do, might tip off how many people over capacity they were). So one day, along comes the garbage man to empty the dumpster into the truck. Upon tipping the dumpster, the closed bottle of urine popped and poured forth from the container. This resulted in a rather cold urine shower for the very unfortunate worker. He happened to go home early that day, but it is incredible to think that he actually retained his job. This author would have left in a heartbeat.
18 A Bag Of Dog Heads
The description of this story has not got much to it by way of detail, but surely not much detail is needed to describe this: "A bag of dog heads. And no, that is not a metaphor." That is all the garbage worker had to say on the matter. So there is a clear understanding that whomever it was who decapitated several dogs, bagged their heads, and tossed them in the trash has got more than a few screws loose, just for starters. But even besides that, he apparently is missing out on a seemingly lucrative market. Especially if he was using the rest of the dog for food. The heads could have been dried, and brought to market. Now that being said, one is not fully sure just how the market is for dried dog heads in America, but it sure beats tossing out the bag, and leaving it for the garbage collector to find. How mortifying would that be, especially if the worker happened to be a dog lover? Disturbing to say the least.
17 A Severed Leg
To be fair, the guy who came across this one is no ordinary garbage worker. He happens to be a biohazard "garbage man" (if one cares to call them that). So perhaps nasty things aren't out of the ordinary for this specific position. However, that doesn't change the fact that he went to a hospital for a waste pickup...and ended up coming across a two-week-old, severed leg. It seems clear here, that bio pickup isn't as frequent as one might expect, or wish it to be. And surely that specific worker must have wished it happened more frequently as well. It would have at least saved him having to see two weeks worth of rot on a severed human leg.
There was also the case of a severed leg that was discovered in a recycling plant in Dublin. Gone unnoticed until finally reaching the plant, two things were assumed: Either the limb came from a homeless person who was accidentally crushed by a garbage truck, or the limb belonged to the victim of a murder. Either way, it apparently is a relatively common thing for authorities to have reports of bodies, and their assorted parts, discovered in the trash in Dublin.
16 Skinned Raccoons
Yeah, that is no joke title, at all. Imagine these cute little guys (even if one thinks of raccoons as complete pests), all happy as they seem to be in the photo. Now imagine them having been flayed and tossed into the trash like everyday refuse. The specific wording the garbage man who came across this uses makes this whole notion way worse than initially thought: "One dumpster I get always has skinned raccoons in it..." Now that's an important thing to note. It "always" has skinned raccoons. The dumpster the man was referring to did happen to be out in the country, but it seems clear that while raccoon furs must clearly be in high demand in that area, their meat is not so desired. Another clear indication that the dumpster is located out in the country might have something to do with the fact that there was, for several months, a deer hide frozen to the bottom of the very same dumpster, that just could not be taken away, save through the spring thaw.
15 A Bag Full Of Rats All Tied Together
So, one is more and more frequently having to pause to take in the incredible amount of insanity that is the human race. A supervisor call brought a garbage man out to a wooded location one day. Pointing to a bag of garbage hanging from the branches of a tree, the police who greeted the garbage worker stayed back. Upon lowering the bag and releasing its foul stench, the worker and police were to discover a garbage bag full of dead rats. Each rat was tied off to the next in some gigantic and strange piece of art. When the worker asked the officers what the most likely cause for this sort of disgusting behaviour was, the response was perhaps just as unexpected as the discovery itself. It turns out that the officer's best guess for why such a thing might occur was something to do with religious sacrifice. All one can think of is the amount of time spent on what is seemingly a ridiculous sacrifice at best.
14 Chunky Cheese
The same garbage man who had to deal with a consistent flow of skinned raccoon corpses, and a seemingly eternally stuck deer hide, had yet another incredibly disgusting issue. At certain dumpsters about town (typically at schools), there would be an ever-growing sludge of milk at the bottom of the containers; apparently "always a good three inches". It turns out that schools don't typically dump their excess milk down the drain and simply chuck it into the garbage, to eventually collect at the bottom of dumpsters, having seeped out from whatever bags they had initially been tossed into. Now if none of that is bad enough to think about, in terms of smell and general putridness, the garbage man has an additional little tidbit regarding those same school dumpsters: "three inches of cheese when it’s hot." Now that is truly disgusting. Sour milk is one thing, but curdled and formed into cheese during a heatwave...one can only imagine the nauseating aroma that must permeate those large containers.
13 An Explosion Of Watery Bags Of Crap
So a garbage man happens to pick up a few heavy duty bags of trash. Nothing unusual there. But they seem to be full of liquid for whatever reason. Ok, it happens — not everyone is very smart. So he chucks them into the back of the truck and continues on his merry way. Sometime after though, thanks to the heat of the truck, the mild weather, and the force of the compactor, the guy notices the ballooning effect these bags are undergoing. So instead of chucking the next can into the skip, he promptly jumps aside from the back end of the truck, and just in time too. And then...well he describes it best: "So I jump out of the way as they blow and just missed being covered in a rain of liquid dog shit that went half way across the street." It turns out that as the weather started warming up after the winter, someone had shovelled up the doggy doo around their yard, but threw in the remainder of the snow with it as well. This apparently makes for a sensational liquidation of the excrement. And under enough pressure, this foul liquid is more than capable of painting the town brown.
12 A Dead Man
Well this one is no surprise at all, and perhaps that's why it is at the bottom of the list, no matter how disturbing it might be. Mafia media has excelled at using the dumpster drop in many ways. From Goodfellas, to The Sopranos, to Analyze That; there's something for everyone in a good dumpster drop. However, these films and shows took the idea from real life occurrences. And so one must remain somewhat sensitive to the fact that families have had to deal with the knowledge of their loved ones making a final dumpster dive before being dug out of the trash, or being compacted with it.
The people one should perhaps feel the worst for though, are the garbage workers who have to sort out the trash from the torso. "We had to dump fully loaded trucks on the ground two times and spread out the load looking for a body, found one once. I decided not to look at it, I think I made the right choice." Some are not so lucky, and imagine what that body would look like if it had already been through the compactor...
11 Meow In A Bag
A driver of one of the trucks, amazingly, happened to hear some sort of muffled mewing one day at work. Peering into the back of the truck to see if he could locate just what was making the sound, he eventually noticed a bag moving this way and that, just ever so slightly. Climbing in and tearing the bag open, it turns out that someone had tossed out a cute little kitten. Grabbing a box from the back, he put the kitten on the passenger's seat and the fuzzy little feline got to ride shotgun with the driver for the rest of his run that day.
It's unsure just what happened to the kitten after that day. Whether he was adopted by the driver, or brought to a shelter for check up, and sale, who knows? What's important though, is the keen sense of hearing that the driver in question had. Over the engine of such a truck to hear a little kitten meow from within one of the bags is quite a feat. And a good solid 'f*ck you' goes out to whoever thought it was totally cool to just dump an adorable kitten in the trash to meow for dear life, when it's perfectly clear that its end would have been the crushing weight of the compactor. Thank goodness for that driver's hearing.
Some garbage workers, as mentioned in the introduction to this article, do make away with some great items after a day of work. Plenty of people are very often throwing out perfectly fine electronics, jewelry, and money. In this particular case, a garbage man ended up going home with a perfectly fine computer. What a score! At least it seemed, at first glance, to be a great score. And why not? The computer was up to date and ran perfectly fine.
The issue came when the worker decided to root through the files and history that remained on the computer. Then it all became clear why the unit was chucked to begin with. There were folders full of child pornography and other pedophillic items. Immediately the worker called the police to report the very clear and appalling breach of the law. Taking the computer in and managing to trace the contents back to its owners, the police were able to make several arrests based on the information given them. Surely the guilty parties expected the computer to be crushed, thus exculpating them from any crimes...but just throwing away a new computer, expecting no one to take it home...that's just silly. Just wipe the hard drive. If you're going to be a criminal, then don't be stupid.
9 Oh Deer
The particular garbage woman in this case, collected in a rural area, where hunting was a big deal. Fully aware of this fact, she knew that she would come across some degree of leftover game meat. It was just par for the course. But the manner in which she found these leftover bits is sort of a surreal and somewhat traumatizing thing. Chucking the bits and pieces of cleaned and butchered deer into square bins made for some interesting pieces of artwork. Let's not forget that deer season takes place through the Fall and Winter. So when this garbage woman had to go out for collection, she would come across these frozen cubes of diverse pieces of deer. In the manner of Salvador Dahli, almost, in terms of surrealism, but certainly far more graphic than anything he ever worked on.
8 Puke Dresser... Literally
Unfortunately, the "puke dresser" heading is not in reference to the colour of the above puke-green dresser. Oh no. Instead is has to do with just how the garbage workers must have found a dresser one garbage day morning. This story doesn't not come directly from a garbage worker, but instead from the friend of a very awful person. Hosting a party, the owner of this dresser was not a fan of the idea of people getting sick on his lawn. Several people were working their way to tossing cookies at the party. And since the dresser was already on the curb, waiting for the garbage men to come and take it away...the host was said to have yelled: “NO DON’T PUKE ON MY LAWN JUST PUKE IN THE DRESSER”. The man who recounts the story, can think of only one thing, after the fact. The disgusting thought of people loading the dresser into the garbage truck, and having the drawers slide out to rain down all manner of extra rotten vomit onto the unsuspecting workers.
7 That Meal Is Garbage...Literally
Ok, don't worry. The above photo is not actually of poor kids eating out of the garbage. The photo belonged to a social experiment, testing the different reactions of people from watching an adult eat from the garbage versus a child (shocker: no one cares about the adult). Regardless, a former garbage man recounted the most disgusting thing he had ever seen on the job (and that's got to be saying a lot, given what else has been on this list so far).
What is it? One of his coworkers used to routinely eat and drink items that he found in the garbage, on their runs. How absolutely abhorrent is that!? Imagine: that food has been mixed with crystal meth, rotting cats, kiddy porn, vomit, urine, dog heads, cancerous organs, severed limbs, skinned raccoons, tied up rats, and a chunky layer of milk (or maybe cheese at that point). Those molecules are mixing with the food that this garbage guy is eating. Purification from the inside out, that is.
6 Cancerous Gallbladder
Yup, that's right. A cancerous gallbladder. To be fair, it's never been confirmed whether or not the gallbladder was cancerous (at least not to the worker who had to go digging), but that is the reason it was sought after. Apparently, a hospital technician had dumped the organ, only to find later that it was needed for analysis to confirm whether or not it was riddled with cancer. So, being called off route by his supervisor, the poor garbage man had to go dumpster diving for several hours, in search of what could very well be a cancer-laden gallbladder. Now think of just how horrible it would be to have to go hunting for human organs in a dumpster in the first place. Replace that image with coming across human organs riddled with cancer. It might not be able to transfer just by touch, but surely no one truly wants to be able to grab hold of a cancerous organ and think to themselves...I've accomplished something today.
5 Scattered Garbage And A Rolled Up Turd
There were some garbage men who routinely collected trash from some fairly upscale neighbourhoods. It should be noted before getting to the juicy bits of this piece, that one should never mess with the garbage collectors. Much like the tax collectors, they can make one's life much shittier than it had previously been.
Take for example, the household that thought it a funny prank to play on the garbage men to wonderfully arrange and sort out all of their garbage...but then leave a single piece of human excrement wrapped in a paper towel, placed on top of all the otherwise perfectly arranged trash. Well, the garbage guys didn't take kindly to this message, whatever it may have meant. So what did they do? Of course the most rational thing they could think to do: they collected up all of the garbage, as per usual, called up their supervisor to tell him what had happened...and then promptly replaced all of the household's trash. Replacing it on their lawn. One assumes there was never anything out of place in the garbage piles there ever again.
4 Open With A Bang
Anyone who has watched Breaking Bad (or attempted their own meth lab) is more than aware that some of the ingredients used in the processing of crystal meth are more than just a little combustible. Indeed, they are downright explosive. Well, two garbage men were out on the job, and one of them had the joy of tossing some scraps of a friendly neighbourhood meth lab into the back of the truck. That was all well and good. But when time came for compacting the trash, the discarded materials from the lab reacted and created a gigantic explosion in the truck.
Luckily the worker running the loader was not harmed, but he was certainly scared stiff. The other worker took note of the guy from whose house the materials were tossed. And the meth maker simply sat there, in only a bathrobe, to watch the spectacle. He later came back out to his patio with clothes on, and cuffs around his wrists, but all the same, this was a guy who wanted to sit and watch a garbage truck explode...without regard for whomever was near.
3 Off The Roll
The very same garbage man who brought forth the story of his coworker being a little bit of a cheapskate when it came to eating out, has also some little info on used toilet paper. Apparently it is one of the most frequent items to make an appearance in the garbage collector's world. "Used Toilet paper. All the time. Nothing worse than having a bag break and spew out mounds of used toilet paper like some type of unrighteous pinata."
One wonders just what used toilet paper, that hasn't been flushed, is used for...Surely there aren't many who wipe and bin, as opposed to flush. But even if that sort of filth isn't predominant in households, it leaves one's imagination open to a great many possibilities for bodily fluids and other unwanted pinata contents. The amount of blood, sweat, tears...and...fun juice all over that toilet paper, along with mucus, menstrual fluid, and more, has got to terrify garbage workers. Picking up a very light bag, must always have them worried about a puffy explosion of putrescence in the very near future.
2 Dead Man's Ashes
Yup, that's right. The ashes of a human being were found by garbage workers one day. Still in the basic box that funeral homes offer with the basic cremation package. Why not let the man who discovered it, tell the story? "One time we found a guy's ashes in one of the standard plastic tubs funeral homes give out. His information was still on the side. When management contacted the family to try and have the tub picked up, it turned out that they threw the poor dude out on purpose." How about that for a loving and wholesome family?
Now there are several conclusions one could draw from this. The man could very well have just been a terrible human being. Or the family could be comprised of terrible human beings, who didn't want the goodness of his ashes to taint their home. Though, if he was such a terror...why would they bother having the ashes to begin with? And if they all are scum...then why would they bother having the ashes to begin with? It seems to this author that there is either one hell of a comedy, or one hell of a tragedy just waiting to be made on the coattails of this little story of family forsaking.
1 .357 Magnum
Ok, again this guy is not an official garbage man, but he does work for a junk removal company, and that is essentially the same thing, just without the pay and union dues. Regardless, this guy just happened to be removing a desk from someone's house. A rather large desk at that. Thinking nothing of it, it got loaded on the truck, like everything else for that day. At day's end, at the dump site, the guy tips the load and as the desk comes crashing down it splinters apart to reveal a .357 magnum, sitting on the pavement.
Now this isn't necessarily disturbing, especially for Americans who can very easily obtain a firearms license to carry handguns around, concealed on their person, loaded. Never mind just keeping one in the desk. This incident, however, took place in Canada, where it is not as easy to obtain a firearms license and one cannot carry a hand gun at all (especially not concealed), unless an officer of the law, security, or transporting it from home, to the range and back again. And each of those require heaps of paperwork to be able to do.