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Garbage truck trashes tree

July 22, 2015
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A garbage truck forced into a tight turn by a parked car takes it out on a tree.

Tuesday (July 21) afternoon at 3:47 p.m. I watched a Waste Management garbage truck lumber up the southbound lane of Hemlock Street toward the mouth of the alley between 14th and 15th Avenue. And I saw the improperly parked Mercedes-Benz blocking half the entrance to that same alley.

So you could say that I saw what was coming.

Irresistible force meets (not so) immoveable object

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In order to avoid plowing through the black Mercedes, the driver of the garbage truck had to start his turn early and corner as tight as he could.

He missed the sedan but only by driving straight up onto private property and under the low canopy of a large tree on the northwest corner.

There were strained groaning noises of wood bending and then finally the stacatto “crr-ack!” as a large bough of the tree was finally pushed past its breaking point.

Once the garbage truck had completely cleared the tree, the driver stopped and, wearing his orange and yellow safety vest, got out to survey the damage.

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Someone from the property that the tree belong to just happened to be in the front yard and immediately came over to speak with the driver, who pointed at the car by way of explanation, then got on his phone. Soon he could be heard loudly explaining to someone — his higher-ups at Waste Management perhaps — exactly what had just befallen him.

The fellow from the property soon went away, leaving the driver to tug and drag the large mass of branch and leaves slowly from where it had fallen, across the mouth of the alley, out of the way and onto the lawn of the property.

Some 45 minutes later I saw the driver again, behind the wheel, carrying out his pickup schedule — not so much as a scratch on his huge green rig.

Roughly speaking, one of these dumpster collection trucks, fully loaded, can weigh in the neighbourhood of 29 metric tons. Compare this to an “average” house, which a Seattle Times writer once calculated as weighing somewhere between 36 and 73 metric tons (sans foundation).

Not only shouldn’t you spit into the wind or tug on the mask of the ‘ol Lone Ranger — you shouldn’t stand in the way of a dumpster truck! Click the images to enlarge it.

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