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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Making haste with your waste

Latest News

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Other News

Magic mushrooms

David Gilet, Byron Bay As noted in David Heilpern’s article (24 February), with drugs, whether medicinal or recreational, dosage is a...

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Storylines: Uluru Statement from the Heart

The 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' seeks constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say and be involved over matters that impact their lives.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Blue-green algae amber alert still active at Uki

Last Thursday Tweed Shire Council issued an amber alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Uki, with Clarrie Hall Dam remaining on a green alert. This morning they say the alerts are still active.

Random Mullumbimby breath test leads police to cannabis and ketamine

Police say that a random breath test in Mullumbimby has led to the seizure of cannabis and ketamine.

Ray Profke

Kate Pye 

Meet two generations of Byron Shire waste removalists. They are the men who start work before dawn.

The unsung heroes that keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy. Hear their stories and what you can do to make their jobs a little bit easier.

Recycling truck driver: Ray Profke. Age: 63. Time spent in industry: 46 years. Born: Boonah, Queensland. Lives: Ballina. Grandchildren: 3

Ray started driving trucks when he was 17-years-old in his hometown of Boonah. His first job was emptying sanitary cans from the outhouses (before flush toilets).

It was a very labour intensive job and the spiders and snakes that greeted him made it interesting. He then worked for 15 years driving gravel trucks before moving into rubbish and recycling.

What do you love about your job? I love helping people.

What annoys you most about your job? People who place their bins the wrong way around or too far from the curb.

Rubbish hanging out of the bin as it gets stuck on the arms of the lifter and makes a mess on the road. Impatient drivers who can’t seem to wait for me to empty what is probably their rubbish bin.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened while driving? I was about to pick up a rubbish bin when a young boy randomly jumped out of it. It scared the life out of me and ultimately he could have been killed.

Garbage truck driver: Ricky Small. Age: 27.

Time spent in industry: one year. Born: Liverpool, NSW. Lives: Ocean Shores. Children: one.

Ricky was born in Liverpool in Sydney but moved to Byron shortly after that. He grew up in Bangalow and went to Bangalow Primary then Byron High. Studying fitness initially, he fell into truck driving through word of mouth.

What do you love about your job? The hours and the autonomy.

What annoys you most about your job? The traffic in and out of Byron, especially in holiday seasons.

People who park their cars in front of garbage bins.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened while driving?I was driving a rubbish truck up in Ocean Shores after Australia Day and some joker had stacked four full rubbish bins on top of one another. Apart from it being structurally impressive, they were a complete hassle to get down.


For more information on waste issues please contact Kate Pye, the education officer for Solo Resource Recovery, on 6687 0455.


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