William Sanchez is what they call a litter technician. It’s a fancy name that describes what is a simple, yet essential job.
“I blow off the streets,” Sanchez explains. “We pick up piles of debris, we pick up trash, and we pick up recycling.”
Sanchez, along with the Athens Clarke- County Sanitation Department, has his hands full on a daily basis. Downtown Athens gets filled with trash nearly every day and night. With that much trash being created, it takes a monumental effort to make sure that this trash, recyclables, and debris gets put in the right place.
A lot of that effort falls on Sanchez and his partner. The duo gets up before most of us are even out of bed; they hit the ground running monday through friday at 5 A.M. The workday doesn’t end until around 2 P.M. and consists of picking up the previous night’s broken glass and trash.
And there’s another thing that Will picks up regularly that some residents believe shouldn’t be his responsibility; cigarette butts.
Athens local Matt Miller weighed in on the issue, and he thinks that the problem with so many cigarettes being casually tossed in the streets could be fixed.
“I guess like put more cigarette butt containers out. If that doesn’t work out, go into setting penalties and go from there,” Miller offered.
Sanchez also suggested his opinion on what should be done with the bright green cigarette disposals.
“I think they should have them on every street, just in case,” Sanchez explained. ” I’d rather people have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”
And for Will, even though it’s hard work, he’s more than happy to do his part to keep downtown clean.
“You know, if it wasn’t a mess, I wouldn’t have a job,” Sanchez joked. “That’s how I look at it.”