Truckers pitch in to remove debris

| 9/19/2001

For truckers helping with the removal of debris from the area where the World Trade Center once stood, it is reminiscent of a funeral procession. The 10-mile trek from ground zero to a landfill on Staten Island is the final resting place for the bones of fallen skyscrapers.

The truckers are hauling other things in their loads, too. Grisly things that federal agents in hazard suits rake through at the landfill. A torso was found in Dennis Gartland's load on Friday. "It just really freaked me out," Gartland told The New York Times. "I got friends who died in there, you know? Firemen. That could have been my friend. This whole thing's got me beat down." As of Sept. 14, three days after the attack, 1,500 truckloads, or 9,000 tons, had been moved to the landfill. It is estimated that it will take about one year to clear the wreckage from the site and lay new roads. Gartland is one of about 100 truckers being paid about $28 an hour to transport debris. The drivers had been pitching in for free until late last week when the cleaning job came under contract. "It's all about the working people now," a national guardsman at the site told new reporters. "It's all about the truckers and ironworkers now."