How can garbage be radioactive? What a ridiculous thing. Well, they have radiation detectors at the garbage dumps and they set off a radiation alarm if any radioactivity is detected in the garbage trucks as they enter the dump site. They don’t allow radioactive material in garbage dumps. That's the rule. But when the radiation alarm goes off the big problem is the “unknown”. Is it highly radioactive and dangerous? Or just a little bit radioactive and not all that harmful. That’s where I come in. They call me or one of my coworkers. We respond to radiation emergencies and make the radiation problem go away by taking care of it, which usually means hauling the radioactive material away or isolating it. So one day I get a call from the garbage dump. Their radiation alarm has gone off.
Myself and a coworker head on out to the dump and when we arrive, the garbage truck that tripped the radiation alarm is waiting for us, along with a mountain of garbage. Actually the truck is sitting on top of literally a mountain of garbage.
I wish that I were someone else. Anywhere but here. And the smell. A mountain of rotting garbage giving off an unlimited supply of noxious odors. And don’t forget about all of the garbage dust created by the bulldozers moving the garbage around and grinding it up in their tracks. Mask were a must. My partner with his mask.
And me with my mask on. And still the garbage stunk.
The picture is shaped like this because the picture taker didn’t hold the camera straight up and down. What is that blue stuff at my feet? I have no idea and I don’t want to know. But it is time to dump the garbage and get to work. Lovely, the garbage truck is filled up all the way to the back. A full load. Yuk!
Well, let’s go ahead and dump the load and get this show on the road. I don’t like breathing garbage dust. My gosh, just look at all of the garbage.
Is this why I got a college degree? To be a garbage picker? In all fairness, the dump was the worst of the radiation emergencies. Compared to having to come to the garbage dump, all of the other responses that I did were “a piece of cake”. We got some of their workers to spread the garbage out. I wonder why the workers aren’t wearing masks? Everyone else is.
My partner is surveying the garbage as it gets spread out.
Doesn’t the garbage really look nasty? No? Well we found the radioactive item, it was a soiled adult diaper. Someone who is incontinent probably had a nuclear medicine exam and the radioactive material is eliminated from the body through the kidneys with urine. Double yuk. Fortunately the radioactive material that was used decays away rapidly and in three days it is gone. We placed the adult diaper into a sealed drum, wait three days, survey the adult diaper again to make sure that the radioactivity has gone away and then dispose of it as regular trash. Our work is done and we have once again saved mankind from a radioactive adult diaper. LOL. Have a nice day wherever you may be, and if you didn’t have to go to a dump today then you had a good day. Anyone who works at a dump has my sympathy. After reading this blog, I hope that you can enjoy your dinner tonight. I promise that the next blog will not involve a garbage dump. Do something kind for someone today. Lew