Cape councilman picks up the town trash

Friday, November 14, 2003

Politics can be a dirty business, particularly when you're out there picking up the trash.

Cape Girardeau city Councilman Jay Purcell rode on the back of a garbage truck and picked up trash on Monday just to get a better understanding of the job performed by city sanitation workers.

"I was a garbage man all day," said Purcell, adding that his muscles were sore after lifting and emptying trash cans, many of them weighing as much as 75 pounds.

The Ward 3 councilman said this was his first opportunity to work a city job. He plans on tackling other municipal jobs in the coming months, including working with a sewer maintenance crew and with the parks and recreation department.

"I think it is really important as elected representatives that we have a good understanding of the workings of the city," he said. "After you work a day doing someone's job, you get a full understanding of what's going on."

Purcell said trash pickup is an essential city service, but it's one that few people appreciate.

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