A thousand words beyond the Hill

Amber Sigman

His blazing blue eyes are covered by spectacles which introduce a quiet man.

While the other men congregate during their breaks to smoke, Mark Bradford of Bowling Green chooses to be alone.

His job consists of separating trash from the heaps of aluminum cans so they can be hauled off to other cities to be recycled.

A loud outdoor heater sitting next to an old couch warms Bradford as he takes a draw off of his last cigarette. In the background, large machines can be heard grinding and tearing old scrap metal.

Magazine pages inside a shopping cart flip in the wind while Bradford plops one leg over the dumpster’s fence.

“You get just about anything and everything in those cans,” Bradford said.

Bradford encourages the community to be more conscientious when recycling, especially since he is the one who has to deal with the carelessly filled red bins.

“The less trash you have in it, the easier the job is,” he said.

During his break, he takes the last bite of his Salisbury steak, fills up his coffee and heads back to the rusted dumpster.

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