TODAY |

Dunedin's 'Captain Rubbishman', the hero we didn't know we needed

Everyone needs a superhero – and Dunedin has a new kind of superhero on the streets. 

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What this fluro-vested crusader lacks in life experience, he makes up for in commitment to his cause. Source: 1 NEWS

Twice a week at the crack of dawn, Joel MacBeth heads out the door to collect bins for the rubbish truck.

Joel, also known as Captain Rubbishman, started six years ago when he was a toddler.

"Wednesday, Friday - that's it, boom. He's out the door, 10 to 7," dad Richard MacBeth told Seven Sharp.  

"It’s progressing more into recycling and also the mechanics," mum Kelly added.

It’s a rubbish routine the fluro-vested crusader shares with truck driver Richelle.

“He is my wee buddy,” she said, “I look forward to every Wednesday morning.

“He just appeared out of nowhere and started popping bins out for me from behind cars and then asked for some stickers to help make them look good again, fix them up." 

While Joel doesn’t want a waste wage, he helps and teaches, with neighbour Denise describing him as “sort of like the police of the bins in the street”.

“Some days you kind of forget which day it is and it's great. He'll come and knock on the door and ask if it's OK to put the bin out, which is fantastic,” neighbour Adrian added.

Today, Seven Sharp took Captain Rubbishman on a new mission at Waste Management HQ Dunedin, where he watched as his heroine, Richelle, unloaded the truck.

Waste Management was keen to make it official, making him an honorary member of the team.