OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Most people groan at the thought of taking out the trash, but not Nelson Ross.
“Rain, sleet or snow, trash gotta go,” he said.
And according to Ross, garbage runs through his blood.
“I’ve been in the garbage business 25 years with no days off,” he said.
Before the sun rises, he hits the road as a lead driver for Waste Pro ready to keep the community clean and safe. It’s no wonder he has earned the nickname Superman.
“I get bored easy. When you give me something that’s bigger than me, that’s a challenge. But I like it like that,” he said.
Ross is constantly finding the hidden gems in his work and believes the physical requirement is definitely one of those gems.
“Oh yeah, it’ll keep you in shape. A free workout,” he said. It also takes wits to navigate one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
“Cars running into the back of the trucks, it’s very dangerous. A hopper alone is 3,000 psi, meaning that things can eject out that hopper and hit you. I mean glass," he explained.
But Ross doesn’t let anything knock him off track, not even the smell.
“The smell, you get used to it. When you know you’re good, you can eat lunch in the back of the truck," Ross said.
His positivity is contagious as he treats each stop with care, and the neighbors take notice.
"I can’t bring my can to the back. I surely appreciate what he does and very respectful, and I thank and praise God for him,” said one woman.
The praise for Ross’ efforts doesn’t stop there.
“He has helped me tremendously. With my handicap, I can’t get around they help me [bring my can up to the house],” explained another neighbor.
Ross believes his job responsibilities include anything that involves helping.
“Cleaning up trash that spills. It might be jumping somebody’s car, pushing their car, whatever it takes on the job,” Ross explained.
Ross is so dedicated that he chooses to work non-stop. So how does he unwind?
“I read the Bible. I’m a very spiritual man. That’s what influences me. That’s what keeps me motivated," he said.
Ross said turning trash into treasured moments shows others the impact waste collectors have on society.
“Without the garbage man, without the fireman, without whoever, it’s the environment that keeps the world going to make it better.”