Alberta toddler’s truck obsession turns into sweet friendship with his garbage man

A community in Rockyview County, west of Calgary, is getting some help with its garbage  from a pint-sized trash collector.

Every Thursday night, three-year-old Nolan Vale takes his Harmony neighbourhood’s bins to the alley.

The toddler has developed a real affinity for waste management. His obsession started as soon as he could walk and talk.

Read more: A unique friendship stemmed from an Edmonton boy’s love for garbage trucks

His dad, Brian Vale, said is started early on.

“It started with school buses and then it was dump trucks and then it turned into garbage trucks and it hasn’t stopped,” Brian said.

Nolan and his collection of garbage trucks. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

Nolan’s mom Nicole Lisafeld said her son couldn’t get enough.

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“He would see the trucks go by. We would follow them in the alley and watch them up and down for hours, if we let him,” Lisafeld said.

Nolan waiting for the garbage trucks. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

Nolan soon had quite a collection of toy garbage and recycling trucks.

It was even the theme for his birthday party.

Nolan’s Birthday Party. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

But what makes his fascination more endearing is the friendship that developed between the boy and his neighbourhood garbage collector, Clint Jack.

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Jack works for Collective Waste Solutions.

“There’s a friendship there. He’s a good kid. He calls me his best friend, which is cool. I really love that,” Jack said.

Nolan and Clint giving each other a high five. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

He takes extra time with Nolan and sometimes lets him sit in the truck to watch him work.

“It’s a good feeling. He looks out for me and every week I try to make him happy in every way I can,” Jack said.

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Their bond has been endearing for Nolan’s parents to watch.

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Nolan, his dad Brian and Clint inside the garbage truck. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

“To know there are people who entertain a three year old with a serious obsession, it’s remarkable and we are so thankful he has people in this life that show him true kindness,” Lisafeld said.

“To have a complete stranger to show love and affection for our son, it melts our heart,” Brian added.

Clint and Nolan outside his garbage truck. Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

It’s a connection they all expect Nolan will likely outgrow, but until that day comes, they will cherish every moment.

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“He looks up to Clint and is so proud of him.”

“We are so thankful for Clint and we appreciate what he has shown our son,” Lisafeld said. “That kindness is what we all  need more of.”

Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

Clint hugging Nolan.

Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

Nolan and Clint

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Courtesy: Nicole Lisafeld

Nolan showing Clint his toy collection.

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