The thirty-year-old, officially known as the “Truck One” driver for the San Francisco Zoo, hauls animal droppings daily. She carries more than 50 wheelbarrow loads — each containing 90 to 200 pounds of animal waste — some of which ends up in Golden Gate Park compost piles.
How did you come to be the zoo “poop-truck” driver? I first heard about this job in high school. A friend of mine used to poop scoop here [at the zoo]. I moved from department to department here … when the previous truck driver broke his shoulder, I filled in for him … I get a lot of laughs from the public when I tell them what I do.
Your job was once featured on “Dirty Jobs.” Is it truly the dirtiest job at the zoo? No, I’m a former custodian — the things we see in the bathroom are absolutely amazing, what people try to do or attempt. Picking up human poop is worse. The rhinos are pretty easy to clean up, their [poop] is easy to scoop up with a pitchfork; it’s compact, it’s moist, it doesn’t fall through the pitchfork and it slides nice. Warthogs’ poops reminds me of atoms; giraffes’ remind me of Cocoa Puffs, because when they hose out the pens, they float around like a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
What does your family think about your job? My husband laughs about it. He doesn’t say much but he prefers that I take a shower when I get home. My mom is proud.
What do you like most about your job? I get to work alone and I love the animals. They’re so much easier to handle and clean up after — they’re much cleaner than humans.
Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.