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EAVESDROPPING / Listening in on Southland folks

January 15, 1998|AARON DAVIS

Name: Arthur Lee "Archie" Glover.

Profession: Refuse collection truck operator for the city of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Public Works.

Age: 56.

History: Archie, a native of Arkansas, has been in the refuse business for 18 years. He is the father of nine children and has 15 grandchildren.

Task: Picks up 147 cans per hour.

Route: Can vary from East L.A., South-Central L.A. and the Valley. Also handles some street-sweeping shifts.

Favorite area to work: South-Central, because it has few hills.

Gear: Hard hat, heavy leather gloves and goggles.

Schedule: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Trash Treasures: Once found a brand new pair of Stacey Adams shoes in his size. Also, he's found watches, jewelry, silver candleholders, silverware and even money.

Trash Peeve: Forgetful customers who ask trash collectors to wait while they frantically wheel out their garbage.

Trash Pleasure: When the limit of 60 pounds per container came into effect in 1991--made it easier on the back.

The Smell: "You never get used to it. You just work around it and move on."

Litter Lingo:

Leach Truck--One of the first types of dump trucks used. Its blade scoops trash into the body of the truck.

Side-Loader--Truck in which the driver drives and loads from the right side. Designed for one-person operation.

Automated Truck--Used only for residential pickups. Has robotic arms that lift the trash barrels. These "no-get-out" rides come with air-conditioning and radio.

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