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Monday, June 24, 2024

Talking trash pays off for Logan youngster

Logan City Council has made the dreams of a garbage truck-obsessed 11-year-old Logan boy come true today.

Ethan Nilsen, of Daisy Hill, has been fascinated with his local waste and recycling collectors since he was a small boy. Waving and chatting to the drivers each week developed into getting to know their names, their truck model and number and their routes across the suburb.

Ethan and his family then began filming the drivers and their trucks in action emptying wheelie bins and created their own YouTube channel called Queensland Garbo. The site features more than 660 videos that have been viewed collectively more than 210,000 times.

Sadly, Ethan last month lost his grandfather Sveinung ‘Simon’ Nilsen, a well-known character in Daisy Hill.

To help lift his spirits, Logan City’s Council’s garbage contractor, Cleanaway, made a surprise visit to Ethan’s home and gave him a ride to school in one of their trucks.

Cleanaway driver, Krystle Tilley with 11-year-old Ethan.

Ethan is in grade 6 at Daisy Hill State School and had a beaming smile as he emerged from a garbage truck to walk through the school gates.

“That was so cool,” he said. “I loved going around the streets in the truck, and with the two steering wheels, it was like I was really driving.

“Next time I’d like to try emptying some bins. I reckon I’d knock a few over but it would be great to give it a try. I can’t wait now to tell all my friends about it.”

Ethan was driven around the streets of Daisy Hill by Cleanaway driver, Krystle Tilley.

She was the first to notice Ethan’s presence nearly every time she emptied bins in his street. Initial waves and chats out of the truck window turned into a friendship, she says.

“He’s my special little man,” a teary Krystle said as she climbed from the garbage truck to deliver Ethan to school.

“I told my boss about how friendly he is and how much he knows about our operations and when I heard about his grandfather dying, I just wanted to do something to help lift his spirits.”

City of Logan Mayor, Jon Raven and Division 3 Councillor, Mindy Russell, helped deliver a school run surprise for garbage truck fanatic Ethan Nilsen, 11, of Daisy Hill.

Mayor, Jon Raven said the surprise underlined the strong community spirit that exists in Logan.

“Ethan has been watching from afar but now he got his hands dirty and enjoyed his first go at garbage truck operator life,” Mayor Raven said.

Councillor Mindy Russell, who helped organise the surprise, said Ethan was well-known in his Daisy Hill neighbourhood for his long-time engagement with the garbage truck drivers.

“He loves watching them at work and I’m sure his regular chats and waves is a highlight of their day as well,” Cr Russell said.

Ethan’s aunt, Rachel Nilsen, said it had been a tough time for the family as Ethan’s grandfather had been his primary carer.

“This treat meant so much to him,” Rachel said. “He’s only 11 but he’s already counting down the days until he turns 18 and can start to learn how to drive a truck.

“He definitely wants to be a garbo himself and I’m sure this surprise has only strengthened his determination.”

Today’s surprise follows an earlier visit by Ethan and his family to Cleanaway’s Logan depot, where he learned more about garbage collection and recycling processes in the City of Logan and was presented with a gift bag.

“He’s a special little fellow and we wanted to make this happen,” said Declan Worth, Cleanaway Operations Manager in Logan.

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