CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - It's a thankless but necessary job: our trash collectors work early hours, and they don't always work in ideal conditions, but to one little boy in Cross Lanes, they're heroes.
Rain or shine, every Thursday morning, Noah Cooper, 6, patiently waits for two of his buddies: trash collectors from Waste Management.
"He wants the alarms set," said Tracey Cooper, Noah's mother. "He wants the TVs off so he can hear."
Cooper said as soon as Noah hears them coming down the street, he runs outside to greet them.
"They have gone above and beyond, stopping the vehicle, getting out to hug him," Cooper said.
Little did they know, on this particular morning, they'd be picking up more than just the trash. Noah baked them chocolate chip cookies and gave them gift cards to Wendy's. He may not know their names, but they share a special bond.
"It's great. We get a few kids, but he's the most excitable," said one trash collector.
Even on the gloomiest mornings, watching the encounter between Noah and the men would brighten anyone's day.
"It warms my heart," Cooper said. "His autism doesn't do anything but honestly make him more loving. He hugs the garbage men, the grocery clerks - a very loving child."