Hard Rubbish Brisbane Collection week is a wonderful service provided by the Brisbane City Council, not only does it allow Brisbane residents to get rid of bulky unwanted items for free with a minimum of effort, but it provides entertainment, community spirit, and for some a trade.
So as the Hard Rubbish collection enters our necks of the woods, we investigated in the ritual, and even found some who claim to make a livelihood from the discarded goods. We take a look at all sides of the fence in the hard rubbish game.
Garry and Tony Doboy are third generation scavengers, they learned the trade from their father Cliff Junior who was known as the Auchenflower Bower Bird after the 1974 Floods. Cliff was famed for knocking off 15 floating XXXX Kegs from the nearby brewery, and he thrived on the nickname and continued to scour Brisbane for hard rubbish until he passed on the thriving junk empire family business to his two sons.
That was 12 years ago, and the Doboy brothers have continued to do the name proud, but it hasn’t come about without learning a thing or two, and have some strange habits.
Garry explained “We got into Gone in 60 Minutes in our teens, you know that movie about stealing cars, and so we copied that thing where they stand around listening to a song before a session of scavenging. But we could never remember that song, so instead we chose Blackbox’s Ride on Time.” A fine choice we have to agree at The Gurgler.
But that strange homage aside, they have some fail safe rules for cleaning up during Hard Rubbish in Brisbane. Tony stepped forward to share.
“First of all, it’s all about the vehicle and how high you can stack. I’m talking Beverley Hillbillies with Granny on the top high. A ute is a great start, but you need to install some of the security screens to ensure maximum height. We started with a couple of those and a Feroza, but have since got ourselves a fleet of flatbed trucks.”
“Then it’s all about Pick Early, Pick Often. Gotta be there first, but be prepared to go again, and again. And be the last. As some people leave it until late to stop people like us.”
“Finally, it’s all about how big a jerk you can be out there on the road. Not only is it our time of time to scoop up unwanted crap and make small pocket change out of it, but it’s also our chance to give as many people the shits as we drive around the suburbs. I mean parking half a metre from the kerb without indicating as we peruse the pile O junk from the car. We only get out if we can smell the gold from the car. I mean driving at 3 kilometres an hour around the suburbs as normal people and residents attempt to live their extravagant wasteful ways. I also mean driving all hours of the night with spotlights on the side like a cab but at Pig Shooting brightness, flashing them in poor defenceless household as they try and sleep for a big day of work the next day.”
But is there money in it? They say yes. “We haven’t had to work for 12 years, and just follow the hard rubbish around Brisbane, and spend the rest of our time cleaning up the bounty and selling them weekend markets, so people can buy the shit and put it back out in the next hard rubbish Brisbane day.” Sounds like good times.
But what about another Hard Rubbish Brisbane entrepreneur?
We found former investment banker turned artist Chaves de Angeles, who was previously known as Charles Archer before changing his name via deed poll. Chaves, as he now likes to be called, explained how he got into hard rubbish.
“Well, I made a lot of money by the time I turned 30 by being an unscrupulous bastard, who used as much Insider Trading as I could get away with. But having so much money is good up to a point. I mean I could retire with the $2M + cash and chase my true dream of being an artist, or I could move to Sydney and use the money as a 50% deposit on a two bedroom place in Leichhardt.”
But why use Hard Rubbish we asked.
“Simple. On my way to work in the CBD every day I saw all of these awful f###ing sculptures, and then you find out that some wanker has been paid five figures to come up with something that barely looks better than a three year old’s Lego creation. So after years of the ripping people off in Investments, I decided to rip off their rates as well by creating the worst possible pieces of art as I could. And what better place to start than Hard Rubbish Brisbane day. It’s free to pick up, and I could turn it into plenty.”
But has he? We pressed further.
“Na, not yet, but it’s only been 4 months since I started. I was on the short list of making a sculpture for outside the Banyo Library that I had done out of toilet seats and Stable Tables shaped as a Stegosaurus. But apparently Dinosaurs weren’t in. But I’ll press on, and this week’s Hard Rubbish collection in the south west gives me fresh inspiration”
We wished him well and moved on, avoiding a second look at his portfolio of work in his double garage. The Donald Trump in a compromising pose with Vladimir Putin made out of springs from soiled mattresses was only impressive a first time.
But what about the residents we wondered. Do they get into Hard Rubbish Brisbane like the pickers? We vox popped a few locals in the current hot spot of Inala and Forest Lake to get their thoughts.
“I love Hard Rubbish week, it gives people like me with nothing better to do something to peer out of the curtains for all day. I love watching the shame of the people carrying out their goods, and the jerks who come and pick it up.”
“I find this week fascinating, as I’ve been dying to check out the bins of number 25. There’s some evil shit going on in there. We reckon Ice Lab or Marijuana growing, but haven’t been able to get any proof yet. Hopefully they have a lot of Heating apparatus or Bunsen burners on the footpath. Because then I’m dobbing the buggers into the Cops.”
“I blame the Turnbull government for the state of our footpaths during Hard Rubbish week. If Tony Abbott was still in power he wouldn’t stand for it. Pauline Hanson too.”
“I enjoy seeing what goes out on the footpath, and am even tempted to steal dumped Christmas decorations, even though we don’t light up our house. But then I see those arseholes in the utes driving like Jerks and I think to myself, if I had to be like them, I’d punch myself in the face. Regularly. They are the cyclists of the suburbs.”
We wanted to approach 2016 Person of the Year, and local councillor Charles Strunk for a comment, not necessarily on the subject of Hard Rubbish, but just because we’re big fans. No .one works harder that Mr Strunk.
But that’s just a few thoughts on Hard Rubbish Brisbane collections, and a few of the people it touches.
We’d love to hear your favourite Hard Rubbish stories, and you can do that by commenting on our Facebook page, or contacting us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
GARRY DOBOY SAYS – THE TOP FIVE THINGS THROWN OUT ON HARD RUBBISH COLLECTION DAY
– So many soiled Mattresses, all with a story or two to tell
– Discarded Exercise Equipment
– Kids Toys
– Obsolete Entertainment Systems – VCRS, DVD Players, CDs, Katy Perry
– Non Compliant Lounges which have failed the Selling Houses Australia/Block standard