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HaulJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Shaun Griffin of Greg Leach’s Custom Trash Service makes a stop Wednesday on Isabel Drive in Cortland. Trash collectors say weather and traffic pose some hazards on the job, but there’s also perks like salvaging treasures from thrown-out items.

Trash haulers’ trade a treasure trove

BY NICK REYNOLDS
Contributing Writer
news@cortlandstandard.net

Often working 10-hour days, trash collectors begin their workdays early in the morning.
Some large operations, such as Greg Leach’s Custom Trash Service, begin work at 5 a.m. to get a jump on the day’s work. Smaller one-man operations, like Ray Oliver’s 15-year-old business U Call It, We Haul It, begin work just as the county landfill opens its gates at 8 a.m.
Though milder weather is often a blessing for collectors, pickers, who collect garbage at curbside, are at the mercy of the elements — especially in the wintertime.
“You don’t know what cold is until you ride on the back of one of those trucks,” Oliver said. “Garbage is produced 365 days a year and we can’t stop, we have to be out there.”

 

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