Philly sanitation worker holds fundraiser for PPE; hopes to bridge gap between residents, workers

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 30-year-old Terrill Haigler is not your typical garbage man. For one thing, he's been making a point to update his followers on social media of the current trash, recycling and pickup delays in Philadelphia.

His social media handle is @_yafavtrashman. "If I say something and the job does the opposite, I apologize in advanced," Haigler explains in one of his videos. "When I give updates, I give the latest information that I have received."

The can-do spirit, even when the news isn't good, allowing himself to coin himself "your favorite trash man".

"I hope your trash is getting picked up, I hope you're not complaining too much," he's heard saying in another clip.

Just seven months on the job and now working through the pandemic, Haigler realized he could do more for not only his safety but his colleagues as well.

"I wasn't properly protected, so I was like I consider everyone's family at work. So I was like yeah, I'm going to do something big to see if I can get PPE for the whole entire family," said Haigler.

To do that, he's designed a t-shirt in the hopes of fundraising enough money by selling more than 2,000 of them to do just that. And he's not just talking masks, he also buying puncture-proof gloves, and sanitizing sprays and wipes for the trucks.

So far, the campaign has been pretty successful. "We're about 800 short, a little more than 800 short and we have about 12 days left until the campaign is over," said Haigler. "So I'm trying to get it out there."

Haigler says the Streets Department has applauded his efforts to raise this money for equipment.

Now more than ever, Haigler says trying to bridge the gap between a frustrated public and crews has been important.

He hopes this effort reminds people, sanitation crews are just people too.

"We fall just like everybody else and we're human," said Haigler.
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