While not everyone agrees with their push to earn $120,000 on average in three years' time, garbage truck drivers argue there's much more to the job than people think.
Long days, working public holidays, "mentally taxing" driving in tight streets.
These challenges and more are why drivers have been arguing with their employer and government contractor Suez over a pay rise for more than six months, taking strike action for three weeks running and now threatening to walk off the job again.
So what does a day in the life of a Canberra garbo look like?
Well, according to one driver, he and his colleagues are more than "steering-wheel attendants", providing an essential service to the community which has been sorely missed over recent weeks.
As essential workers, waste collection drivers are on Canberra's streets five days a week including all public holidays. Missed collections on Christmas Day and Good Friday are made up on the following Saturday.
One driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the role was harder than it appeared.
The day begins with a safety check of the truck and equipment before drivers head out on their usual route, where they'll spend 10 hours collecting about 1300 bins.
The driver said the role could get monotonous, and navigating the truck required constant concentration to avoid potential accidents.
"It's a constant re-adjustment of minor things to ensure we clear trees, obstacles behind us, cars parking in front. Even the simple act of getting around a cul de sac .. we need to do a 15 point turn to service every bin."
"That's a constant mathematical equation we're running through, so it's more mentally taxing then it appears."
Cameras in the vehicle facing the driver and the road, capture their entire shift, designed as a safety device if an incident occurred.
"It's not a typical workplace in that way, we have to be alert and on the ball the whole time," he said.
"It only takes a split second to have a life-changing impact in this job, whether that be hitting a powerline when you're servicing the bin or having an accident."
Drivers need to ensure fewer than 1 per cent of bins fall over in their route.
"It takes a fair bit of practice to get to the point where we can put a bin down with the speed and maintain them upright," he said.
When their trucks are full halfway through the day, they are taken to the Mugga Lane tip to unload before they return to the rest of their collection. The day ends with another trip to the tip before a final safety check of the truck at the Hume depot.
The driver claims his colleagues have been fuelled in the plight by "culture problems" and "animosity' between drivers and management. He says workers have raised several issues around communication with management but the problems haven't been solved.
After three strikes in the past month, drivers have threatened to walk off the job again since they turned down the latest offer from government contractor Suez of 8.3 per cent over three and a half years.
They have called for a 12 per cent increase in that period.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said neither Suez or the drivers are paid when action is taken. He hoped that would persuade the parties to come to a resolution before another strike.
There will be no disruptions to waste collection this week, after drivers called off planned action for Friday.
As four days notice must be given, the earliest they can strike is next Thursday.
Mr Steel said the government had provided alternative drop-off locations during strikes which would continue to operate if there were futher missed collections.
He said the roster had also been changed to ensure no suburb was skipped two weeks in a row.
Suez's contract is set to expire in 2023, and Mr Steel said the government would "test the market" when the time came.
"In 2023, when the recycling and garbage contract comes up we will be going out for tender, work is already underway to design that tender," he said.
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