‘All The Girls Are Barbie’ Ken!
One sunny day last month, I literally bumped into Ken at the ‘corner shops’. The first thing I saw was a pile of very large and full chaff bags on top of a ute. “That looks quite interesting”, I thought, until I saw the second thing – his extremely short shorts!
When Ken saw me looking at his ute, he eagerly approached, informed me of his name (and that “all the girls were called ‘Barbie’”) and keenly asked if I would do a story on a ‘Bin Diver’?! Somewhat fearing the answer I asked “Who or what is a bin diver?” “I am!” Ken joyfully said and proceeded to tell me his story.
It seems he was an ex-sheep shearer who had travelled the world with his trade, and now was enjoying a change of pace with his new found career endorsed by the council as part of a State Government Project.
Ken told me he was closer to 80 than 70 and each fortnight for three days a week since February 2019, he starts at 4am and ‘goes all day’ ‘diving’ into the council recycling bins and green top bins collecting bottles and cans (only going home when the recycling truck catches up). He then spends another day cleaning, counting and packing them, and one more day taking them to one of three recycling centres at either Bethania, Jimboomba or Stapylton. Over the past couple of months he has been collecting 300 cans or bottles a day but notes lately, quite interestingly, with people now going back to work, he is down about six bags on his collecting.
With both shoulders impacted from his former career, arthritis in both feet and three hip replacements, he is quite agile while performing his service of recycling, but I’m guessing the short shorts add a little bit to his ‘streamlined’ ability! Such an interesting man – with a great tan (which he showed me!).