People Are Awesome: Join the Campaign to Thank Your Garbage Collectors

Every day thousands of sanitation workers do their jobs unnoticed. Let's change that.

They're at our happy hours, they're at our music festivals, they're even at our birthday dinner parties. You may not see them, but the trash collectors of the world attend every event we hold—they just come at the end and clean up all the garbage we create. If doing difficult and thankless work in anonymity is one of the marks of a saint, then saintly are thousands of sanitation workers who patrol America's streets early in the morning and pick up what the rest of us throw out.

Curious about how best to show her sanitation workers she cared about them, Huffington Post contributor Patience Salgado went out last week and asked them. "You know, we just need a little respect," said a garbage collector named Joe.

To honor Joe's wishes, Salgado has initiated what she's calling a "kindness mission" to promote sanitation worker appreciation. With the help of hundreds of kids from five different elementary schools in Richmond, Virginia, Salgado is seeking to put a message of kindness and thanks on garbage bins throughout her city.

"Sometimes it is the smallest act of kindness that makes the greatest impact on a person," she writes. "All I could imagine was Joe lifting can after can with notes of gratitude attached, throughout an entire neighborhood, maybe even a whole city."

To learn more about Salgado's sanitation worker project, check out her article. At the very least, we hope her story inspires you to remember what happens every time you throw out a diaper, a tissue, a pizza box. There's a human being somewhere waiting to take care of all of that for you. It might be nice if you took care of them sometimes, too.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Will Hart

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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