Isn't that just like a red-and-gold, hmm? Too high and mighty for us cast-offs. Hasn't anyone ever told you that waste is a terrible thing to waste?As is the case in many technologically advanced civilizations, both within the Manifold Sky and in the unknown worlds beyond the Celestial Realms or only dreamed of in The Curved Time, sanitation workers of all stripes are vital functionaires in the most developed societies. In the Manifold Sky setting, garbage collectors are important parts of the resource management chain, helping societies squeeze new uses out of old materials.
Because space and resources are limited within the Manifold, it is important for every society to make judicious use of what they have and what they can potentially access. Once mineral and vegetable wealth are pried from the soil, they are consumed or made into manufactured goods which, after spending a time in the economy of the sentient races, will eventually find themselves turned into waste. Garbage collectors gather up this waste where it accumulates in public spaces and brings it to a processing facility, where their co-workers divvy up the material and send it on for further reprocession - smelters for metal, fuel biosynthesis reactors for food scraps and vegetable matter, and so forth.
While they often endure a degree of scorn among the social elite, those truly in the know respect garbage collectors for their surprising degree of education. Gathering trash seems like a dirty and thankless job (because it usually is), but garbage collectors in the Manifold Sky setting are expected to have a keen eye for useful scrap materials of all sorts, a knowledge of how they might be repurposed, and training to deal with hazardous materials. Unlike in many settings, in the Manifold, there's a lot of money to be made in well-sorted trash. Many garbage collectors engage in slapdashery with particularly interesting peices of scrap they encounter in their work. Garbage collectors sometimes acquire secondary education in business, engineering, or chemistry to better work with particular kinds of trash, with some of these eventually joining the ranks of hazardous-condition salvage reclamation crews for their expertise. Beyond this general knowledge of all things waste, garbage collectors frequently know the lay of the land in a given region better than most, since their routes may change in relation to demand for their services.
In most human cultures, the vast majority of garbage collectors of men. The job is unglamorous, unpleasant, and involves a lot of time spent in inclimate weather. This trend is reversed, however, in verdial cultures, where special emphasis is put on using waste as fertilizer. Among Vale Verdial, both genders are expected to participate in agriculture - a profession intimately tied to that of the garbage collector.
Garbage collection vehicles may include trucks, utility skeletons, entertainment float-sized airships (for collection on rooftops and among rough terrain), and even HC-1 "Meantwig" Hazardous Condition Auto-Armor (for hazardous materials).
Dangers & Hazards
Beyond the usual dangers concomitant with lifting heavy loads and operating heavy machinery, garbage collectors must also keep an eye out for biohazardous materials, scavenging creatures looking to protect their hoards, and, in places touched by the War of Reunification, unexploded munitions.
Trash (wo)man, garbage (wo)man, waste collector, sanitation worker