GREENVILLE — Adam J. Cupp, age 36, of Miamisburg, has been with Rumpke for 11 years. Cupp is a Portable Toilet Foreman, which means he’s the guy who has to clean, pump out, and occasionally replace those big green port-a-johns you often see at county fairs, outdoor concerts, and construction sites.
Cupp started working at Rumpke shortly after getting his Class A Commercial Driver’s License.
“I got my Class A, went to work for USA Truck for a couple weeks, and got homesick,” Cupp said of his reasons for initially signing on.
Rumpke supplies portable toilet units for locations and events throughout the Dayton and Cincinnati area, including Greenville. In fact, as summer approaches, the company will likely be looking for seasonal help in anticipation of all the outdoor events. In addition to their small, green one-person units, they also have what Cupp calls the “big green trailer” – a truck containing restrooms with running water, heating and air conditioning, and other amenities – and “the big fancy white trailer,” which works the VIP area at the Dayton Air Show each year.
Cupp usually deals with the smaller units, however. On an average work day, he drives around in a company truck – which includes an 850-gallon tank built into the vehicle’s bed – and empties portable units throughout the area, as well as checking and filling toilet paper and hand sanitizer dispensers, getting rid of any trash, spraying down the interior, and then drying it off. It’s a process that usually goes quickly, but can sometimes have – messy – complications.
“It doesn’t get any nastier than getting it all over you,” Cupp said of these complications. “And everyone has it happen at least once.”
Other issues include the wind, or mischievous young people, tipping the units over on their side. (If the unit lands on its door, Cupp said, that’s the worst). Or a valve could break while the unit is being pumped out, causing waste to be spray in all directions. Winters are also tough, as precautions must be taken to try and prevent the units’ contents from freezing.
“If we can’t break it up, there’s just nothing we can do with it,” Cupp said.
Strange items can also often be found discarded in the company’s toilets, including cell phones, hats, t-shirts, keys, wallets, and on a few occasions, dead birds.
“Once stuff falls in there, people generally don’t want to fish it out,” Cupp said. Cupp said he enjoys working his own regular route, as he then gets to know the different clients he services, and what to expect from each one.
Overall, the job has its perks, according to Cupp, including job security and the benefits of working for a family company.
“You get to be upside, and there’s plenty of free exercise,” Cupp said. “And I’ve always felt like the work I do here is appreciated.”
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