AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Without trash collectors, our world would look and, quite possibly, smell a whole lot different.
They clear barrel after barrel of waste that we create and dispose of it safely and properly, so how do we help them?
Each day for Snthony Demaio begins with a lap around his second home.
"Big Blue," Demaio said, referring to his truck.
Demaio is a residential driver for Republic Services. Simply put: he picks up your trash.
[Reporter: kindness counts, how do we help you in this respect?]
"Put your trash out the right way, seperate the barrels a bit, use trash bags, and maybe give us a wave every now and then," Demaio said, adding "we get about 900 barrels a day."
It can be a stinky job, but his efforts aren't lost on everyone.
[Reporter: Anyone ever come up and thank you for doing their route?]
"Yup. Around the holidays, people will come out and give you a card, give you some tips, Dunkin' card, cash maybe," Demaio said.
[Reporter: How's that make you feel?]
"It makes you feel appreciated. The rest of the year, you don't see much. Nobody wants to be around the trash truck," Demaio noted.
[Reporter: How is the smell?]
"It's not bad now, but in the summer, it gets a bit ripe," Demaio explained.
Western Mass News joined Demaio in his daily quest for 900 barrels. On the day we were with him, Big Blue was clearing the rubbish from the River Road area in Agawam.
One thing is clear: things have changed since Demaio's first day about 12 years ago.
"It's all joystick, all automated, just kind of sit back," Demaio said.
[Reporter: How about 12 years ago?]
"It was a lot different then, hanging off the back, rain and snow...lot easier now," Demaio noted.
[Reporter: a lot dryer?]
"Yeah, I was in better shape too," Demaio said.
Demaio's a master with the joystick. Years of X-Box helped with that. Notice his precision as barrels fit to bursting with trash are hoisted high and then emptied.
An open, dangling top: a sign Demaio and Big Blue have been by.