In response to Trash is Cash (and the economic madness that proves it) I received an email from “FTC” a former trash collector who explains the “unspoken benefits” of being a trash collector.

Hello Mish,

I spent several summers working as a trash collector in Bronxville, NY. Trash collection was non-union and so they could hire high-school kids during the time regular workers would take their vacations. It was the best job, in some ways, that I ever had.

Speaking from experience I could almost guarantee one of two things.

1. The mystery thieves are none other than the garbage workers themselves who front-run the route personally early on special pick-up day to grab any choice goodies before they return in their official capacity. To my mind there is nothing wrong with this as the items get recycled/reused rather than going to the landfill.

2. Someone in the main office is tipping off a ring of friends who are doing this, and the garbage workers are ticked off because they are finding themselves preempted when they show up early and the goodies are gone. I am neutral on this practice but it does take away one of the long-established unspoken benefits of the job. Moreover, it would explain the workers raising heck over this.

Hope this sheds a little insight.

Thank you for all you do every day – I read your blog as an ever-unfolding real-time economics course.

Sign me “Former Trash Collector”

This is just a quick anecdote from a reader while I am working on other things.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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