Sentinel-Echo.com

Features

August 29, 2013

Our Neighbors: Sitting behind a desk isn’t for him

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — For Charley Allen of East Bernstadt, being a garbage man has always meant more than simply collecting trash.

“I like being out... The people out here in Laurel County, most of them are like family to me.  I’ve watched their kids grow up.  I’ve watched their kids have kids have kids.  I have two generations of kids I’ve watched grow up since I’ve been on these trucks,” Allen said.  “A lot of people don’t realize how personal [this job] is.”

In 1978, Allen, 19 at the time, began collecting trash for Sherman Hanney, founder of Laurel County’s first garbage collection business, Laurel Garbage.  Laurel Garbage later became known as Waste Connection.  After 30 years working in the sanitation industry, Allen retired from Waste Connection as a site manager where he supervised routes, trucks, and drivers. 

To Allen’s surprise, the love of his job and the community had Allen reentering the workforce after only four hours of retirement.

He took a nap and woke to a knocking at his door.

It was Gerald Poff of Poff Carting, offering him a job.  Allen, remembering the customers he had met over the years, agreed to reenter the workforce on one condition: He would run a residential route instead of taking a managerial position.

He didn’t want to sit behind a desk anymore; he wanted to be out with the people again.

“People of Laurel County have always been good to me,” explained Allen.  “If it’s a hot day, they bring me a bottle of cold water or a bottle of cold pop.  A lot of the customers never forget their garbage man on Christmas - they always leave you a Christmas present.  That’s how personal it is on a residential route.  It’s totally different from supervising.”

Text Only
Features
Facebook
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results