Happy Friday the 13th! It just so happens that this year, Friday the 13th lands in October, making the superstitious holiday even more eerie. We have all heard scary stories of urban legends and creepy crawlies, but have you ever thought of the scary things found in the trash? Waste collection workers have an interesting job. While collecting materials during their routes, they often encounter some crazy things!

We recently asked some of our Mountain State Waste garbage collectors about a creepy or scary occurrence they have had in the trash business. Most of our workers laughed and said, “Just one?” From creepy crawlies to dangerous items, our workers have seen it all!

“There was one time, I was emptying a dumpster and a rat fell on my head and circled my body. While I was screaming bloody murder my helper was rolling on the ground laughing. Funny, not funny!” – Casey Lowther, MSW Northern Operations.

“When I went to pick up a roll-off box, there was a black bear digging in it! And one time, one of the guys found a snake hanging from the bottom of the dumpster they were about to dump.” -Richard Wetzel, MSW Southern Operations.

“I almost picked up and threw away a skunk in the trash because I thought it was a stuffed animal! And just last week, I found a knife in the trash, with it being Halloween time, it makes you think about Michael Myers, LOL” John Rhodes, MSW route manager.

“Several occasions where people throw their false teeth away. Wrapped in something. Believe it or not, we have found a few if they call quickly enough. The guys would know which house and have a good idea of where it should be in the load. Now talk about putting a smile on a customer’s face is when you can find their teeth!” – Randie Lawson, MSW President & CEO.

We may not be able to fully control the critters or crazy encounters, but there are ways to keep your garbage collectors safe. Please, be mindful of what is thrown away in the garbage.

To name a few things that are dangerous and cannot be collected by our garbage collection team include Flammable Products, Gas/Oil, Paint Cans, Brick, Lead, Acid/Wet, Cell Batteries, Railroad Ties, Toxic Materials, BioHazardous Materials or Waste, Propane/Oxygen/Helium Tanks, Explosives, and Live Ammunition or Weapons. Sharp objects such as Needles, Razor Blades, and Knives, should be placed inside durable plastic bottles, sealed with tape, then placed in the trash and marked accordingly. To learn more about the dangerous items that cannot be placed in the trash, check out our guidelines on mountainstatewaste.com.

The MSW crew works hard every day to provide a clean community for our customers, even during “spooky” things happen. At Mountain State Waste, we appreciate our crew, are dedicated to keeping them safe, and stay thankful that the creepy crawlers have not scared them away!