In a metaphor gone terribly wrong, Portlander Justin Gilpatrick apparently decided to become a new man by crawling into a cardboard recycling bin on August 10. To be more specific, he told police, he was trying to sober up after a hard night of drinking out near the strip bar Club 205, where all drinking is hard.
Unfortunately, he chose his moment badly, and was picked up in the recycling truck. The truck compacted twice with Gilpatrick inside before the driver noticed anything wrong, but somehow Gilpatrick was able to get away with only minor injuries. No charges were filed.
On his nonrestricted Facebook page the same day, Justin wrote of the incident, "I have not had a drink in years and the one time I do this I what happens."
Apparently this was not the first time he'd had similar issues: "Wow!" wrote a friend. "Why does that remind me of years ago when u woke up in jail half naked in St Helen's! Maybe this time its a wake up call glad u survived."
"Hahahahahhahahhahahahahha this is why I love you hahahhaa," wrote another.
Acording to spokesman Ken Gimpel at Waste Management, finding a person in a dumpster is rare but not unheard of. "There are stories," he tells WW. "My boss when I started told me that he was in an alley in Portland and lifted the container, and right when he lifted the container the guy poked his head up and stared at him eye to eye. My boss put the container back down and the man wandered off into the darkness."
Gimpel also said that the trucks have a 3-to-1 compression ratio, which means they can effectively turn a limo into a Car2Go. "You can imagine how many pounds of pressure it takes to get a 3-to-1 compaction," Gimpel says.
For obvious reasons, the company entreats people to stay away from dumpsters; drivers, for their part, are instructed to jostle the bins a bit to make sure there are no sleepers inside, or anything else.
"I’ve heard cats," he says. "People dump cats into dumpsters. It’s not a good feeling [to be the driver.] I can only imagine if the driver heard the screams of a human. We encourage anyone to never be in, around, or on a dumpster. It’s not the place to be."