Austin garbage crew and little boy build unique friendship - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Austin garbage crew and little boy build unique friendship

Posted: Updated:

AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) - Most of the news coming out of Austin has revolved around needles, drugs and HIV. But a garbage crew and a little boy are changing the way the small southern Indiana town is viewed.

Kevin Salyers admits, collecting garbage is far from glamorous.

"It's one of those jobs that no one ever plans on doing. But it's a pretty important job," said Salyers, a City of Austin Sanitation worker. "We make the best of it."

Salyers works with two other men, driving a garbage truck for Austin. They say their favorite day of the week is Tuesday because of a little boy on their route.

"He's always there, no matter what," said Matthew Madden, a trash thrower. "You can count on him being there."

"Every week you can guarantee that this kid is going to be at the window waiting and ready just to see the truck and wave," Salyers said.

Cain Kallembach is a shy boy who's almost 3 years old.

"He's very simple," said Tracy Kallembach, Cain's mother. "He loves trucks. He loves playing with them."

Cain Kallembach really loves the garbage truck that comes on Tuesday.

"The guys, he loves the guys, the attention from them," Tracy Kallembach said.

But this past Tuesday was especially special. The garbage crew had no idea that Cain had a surprise for them. 

"We were just ready for our normal Tuesday wave, ya know," Salyers said.

"The night before we had made cookies, and I had mentioned that the trash truck was coming tomorrow, and he had asked if we could give cookies to them," Tracy Kallembach said.

But he garbage crew also had something for him.

"We were waiting on him with the two (toy) trash trucks to give him," Salyers said. "He was expecting to give us something, but he wasn't expecting anything in return."

"He froze. He was shocked," Salyers said. "It was just a great big smile on his face that truly made our day."

A picture of the boy exchanging gifts with the crew and a photo of his big grin with his new toys have been a huge hit on social media.

"Seeing that kid's face was precious," Madden said. "It was most amazing thing ever."

But their Tuesday waves are ending in a few weeks because the Kallembach family is moving to another town.

"I'm not sure if he really understands it, but I made sure he knows that we'll come, and we'll see them," Tracy Kallembach said. 

"I think the hardest part is whenever he moves away," said Jordon Glover, the third member of the crew. "He's moving in a couple weeks, and we won't be able to wave at him."

Their story is a reminder that a smile, a wave and a small gesture of kindness can go a long way.

"There's more good than there is bad," Salyers said. "A lot more good."

Copyright 2017 by WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.