From The Archives

Telling the difference

By Shepparton News

May 23, 1973

Telling the difference between steel and aluminium cans has been made simple by an addition to the recycling centre at J. Gadsden's plant in Wheeler St.

The device is a simple magnet.

If the can falls off the magnet, it's aluminium, if it sticks, it's steel.

Manager Mr D B O'Shea said today this company had erected a new sign at the recycling centre so that people in doubt about the difference between steel and aluminium cans can identify the steel ones with a magnet.

Mr O'Shea explained that one of the environmental advantages of the steel can is that it is magnetic.

In the long-term plan for the reclamation of steel cans for recycling through municipal separation, this will be an important factor.

In the interim The Steel Can Plan for Conservation sponsored by the major steel can-makers and BHP provides recycling facilities for people who care enough to save cans in their own homes and take them to recycling centres.

“We are lucky to be able to provide a recycling centre for the people of this area,” Mr O'Shea said.

“However I do ask them to use the bins for the purpose of recycling cans and not to put rubbish into them. It helps us if the cans are properly segregated — there is a bin for steel cans and a bin for aluminium cans.

“For general guidance nearly all food cans in Australia are made from steel, plated with tin, and 78 per cent of all beer and soft drink cans are made from steel.”

Mr O'Shea said the response from the public was continually increasing and showed that many people in the area do care about the cleanliness of the Goulburn Valley and further afield.

He quotes one case of a gentleman, Mr McLarty from Silver Pines, Bundure Siding, NSW (between Jerilderie and Narrandera) who regularly sends bags of cans to the parcels office at Shepparton railway which are collected by J Gadsden and despatched to Melbourne for recycling.

Stan Hoskins on the job in High St, taking things slow and easy.

May 24, 1973

Stan goes slow now

All day he stands, sign in hand, out in the heat and the cold.

Stan Hoskins is a flagman.

Hardly the world's most sought-after job, but it has its advantages.

Think of the power.

Hundreds of motorists drive along High St every day.

Just by a mere flick of the wrist, Stan can make them slow down or even stop.

Ulcerated businessmen must sometimes envy the lack of pressure in Stan's job — work is forgotten when the sign is thrown in the shed each night.

The Country Roads Board has been working on improvements to High St for months now.

For the last five or six weeks, Stan has been working as a flagman, telling motorists to go slow or stop if the road is blocked.

Stan likes his job — he says it's put 20 years onto his life.

He's been with the board for five years and prefers it to all the years he worked in hotels.

He came to Shepparton when he was about 15 and spent most of the ensuing years in the hotel business.

Stan pulled thousands of beers behind the bar at Hotel Australia and the Goulburn Valley Hotel, where he worked for a "fortnight off 10 years".

He was also licensee of the Commercial Hotel in Mooroopna for 3.5 years.

I found it difficult to understand why an average Australian male would throw in such a position to go and work on the roads.

Policemen seem to do the opposite.

“I just started getting niggly with myself and the customers,” Stan said.

“I thought I'd have a break. I expected to be out of it for only a couple of years, but I've been out ever since.”

Is he glad he made the break?

“She's great,” says Stan.

“Thirty-five years behind the bar is too long.

“Out here (where we're standing on the corner of High and Dudley Sts) you've got one man to satisfy — in the hotel you might have a 100. All the customers are bosses.

“You've got to cry on their shoulder and laugh at the jokes. You've got to be with them all the way. You're on the job 24 hours a day — and anyway, it's easier to satisfy only one boss. There are no worries with this job and not as much responsibility.”

While the money may not be as good, Stan is quite happy with the "$180 he knocks out a fortnight, tax free".

If it rains he is supplied with a coat.

The mornings are starting to get nippy but Stan said he doesn't seem to feel the cold as much.

“Locked inside with draughts all around you makes it easier to catch a cold,” he said.

A tanned and wrinkled Stan (he's 60 next month) has become a familiar sight to the drivers who use High St regularly.

But not all of them yell out "Good day Stan. How are ya?”

One motorist threatened to punch him in the nose.

Stan said he told him he finished at 4, so if he was still interested, he could come back then.

The fellow still hasn't appeared.

He has had a few near misses and the sign itself has been hit occasionally.

“They look disappointed if they don't get you,” Stan joked.

The only disadvantage Stan mentioned was the dust.

“It plays up with your eyes.”

Not that he lets that bother him.

“It's better than looking at the same four walls every day.

“I take the good with the bad. You've got to see the funny side of things. Otherwise people don't want to talk to you, don't want to know you.

“Nothing at all worries me.”

Stan intends on staying with the Country Roads Board until he retires at 69.