“The bigger, louder and messier, the better,” his mom, Holly Coleman said. “He knows all the correct names for different vehicles and for all their parts. It blows my mind. Garbage trucks are his favorite and the fact that they stop by our house on a weekly basis makes them that much more thrilling.”
From that weekly garbage pickup, a special bond was formed between Rex and Horace Jenkins, a Solid Waste Truck Driver from the City of Jacksonville’s Solid Waste Division. So when Rex’s fourth birthday approached earlier this month, Jenkins made sure it didn’t go unacknowledged.
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That Saturday morning, the Colemans received a call letting them know they’d have a special visitor. They played in the front yard while waiting for the horn to blow from Jenkins’ truck. The garbage truck parked right in front of the family’s home and out emerged Jenkins with a wide grin and armed with gifts including a City of Jacksonville giftpack, a toy truck and some truck-shaped chocolates from Sweet Pete’s.
“Of course, his most prized gift was simply the visit itself,” Coleman said. “It was so special because I knew how much it meant to Rex. Horace has pretty much reached superhero status in our home, and after a tough year and a half with so much uncertainty, this was pure magic.”
An unlikely friendship
The Colemans are a family of four comprised of Holly, her husband Joe, their children Rex and Eloise who will be 2 years old next month, plus a dog, a couple of cats and some fish.
Jenkins drives the truck that stops at the Colemans’ home every Tuesday to collect trash. Since that’s a weekday, Rex was typically in school or daycare — until March of last year.
“Two days after my parental leave ended for Eloise, we were suddenly all home together,” Coleman said. “With a new baby sister and the abrupt shift in his daily routine, plus Joe and I having to work from home and unable to give him the attention he craved, it was hard. It was hard for all of us, but I think it was hardest for Rex.”
For that reason, Tuesdays quickly became a day of “joy and excitement” as the family accompanied Rex to eagerly await the sounds of the garbage truck’s arrival.
“It’s pretty loud, so we could usually get our shoes on and race down to meet it while they were still just getting started on our block,” Coleman said. “It didn’t take long for Horace to notice the excited little boy following him down the street each week. We would wave and marvel at their strength and sometimes Rex would bring a toy garbage truck of his own to show off to the guys.”
Soon, it became even easier to know when the truck was on the Colemans’ block.
“Horace would start honking as soon as they turned the corner, and we would run as fast as Rex’s legs could carry him,” she said. “Horace would always have a huge smile on his face, waving enthusiastically to his ‘little buddy,’ as he calls him. He truly went out of his way every Tuesday to make Rex feel special at a time when he and all of us were struggling with the changes brought about by the pandemic.”
Time to tidy up those flowerbeds, mow the lawn one last time, and cut back any shrubs before the dark evenings arrive.
And the clock is ticking, because garden waste collections will be winding down across most of Gwent over the coming weeks.
Each of the region’s councils, with the exception of Caerphilly County Borough Council, will pause green waste services for the winter.
Caerphilly CBC normally operates a year-round collection service, and confirmed to the Argus that this winter will be no exception.
In Blaenau Gwent, garden waste collections will come to an end on Friday, November 26.
Monmouthshire residents will have their last green waste pick-ups on their normal collection day in the last two weeks of November.
The last day for Newport City Council’s garden waste collections will be November 26. That means that residents’ last collections will be between November 15 and 26, depending on their normal collection day.
We do not accept Styrofoam in our recycling program. Styrofoam should be discarded with your trash. If you do have packing peanuts, check with your local UPS Store as they may accept them for reuse in packaging.
“Cold drinks and pizza will be served for those who help,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery.
Work will include directing traffic, greeting, taking surveys, and helping unload waste. Volunteers will not handle any of the hazardous materials.
“Cleanups like this are part of what help keep Burnet County clean,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle. “They not only protect the landscape but also the surface water and the groundwater. This is a great opportunity to get rid of chemicals in a safe way.”
The collection of household waste is the first the county has conducted in five years. In 2019, the county held a BOPATE, which stands for batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, tires, and electronics.
“We’d like to do one every year, but the sheer cost makes that impossible,” Beierle continued.
A hazardous waste collection costs about $100,000, while a BOPATE is about $25,000. The biggest expense is the need to hire a trained mobilization unit for the hazardous chemicals. Money has been donated by the Lower Colorado River Authority, LeHigh Hanson, and others.
To volunteer, call Beierle at 512-715-2611. You can also just show up if you come by 8 a.m. for the safety meeting
Burnet County residents can dispose of the following items at the center to help clean up their own properties and to protect the local environment and lakes from pollution:
tires without rims (24 inches or smaller; first 10 tires are free but $2 per tire after that)
lead-acid and rechargeable batteries
cellphones and landline phones
computer components and parts
TVs (no wooden consoles)
used motor oil and filters
petroleum-based paints, stains, and varnishes
household hazardous chemicals
compressed gas cylinders (aerosols and camp stove propane)
fluorescent lamp bulbs (no compact fluorescent bulbs)
transmission and brake fluid
lawn and garden chemicals
scrap metal (no lawnmowers or appliances)
Paints and chemicals should be brought in their original containers, be properly sealed, and not be mixed with other substances. You should haul containers and materials in the trunk or back of your vehicle and away from passengers.