Month: July 2014

The Vultures of Camden

In the last post I mentioned the Vulture compactors that made up the majority of the waste collection fleet in Camden, where I worked for Onyx(UK) from 1991 to 1995.

Under the  contract, the London Borough of Camden retained ownership and maintenance of the fleet, with the collection team from Onyx.

Anyway, in this picture we can see the rear of the loader, with 3 blokes who didnt actually work for Onyx, but Danny on the left may have been an employee of Max in the shorts who worked for the employment agency that supplied temporary labour when it was needed.

The Camden contract had 3 depots initially. there was Cressy Road in the north, and Jamestown Road in the Centre of Camden and Cockpitt Yard to the south.

Apparently the Jamestown Road site is now residential homes. i think the same thing happened to Cressy Road.

To collect all the waste in Camden we had 2 trucks running from Cockpitt Yard, 8 collection team trucks (rear loader crews) plus 4 bulk bin trucks plus vacuum truck plus 2 bulky waste items crews, plus 2 afternoon shifts and a night shift running out of Jamestwon Road, and at Cressy Road a further 2 bulk bin trucks and 8 collection teams plus another couple of crews that specialised in house clearances etc.

Truck 166


Back in the Day

I found a really good Facebook page dedicated to Garbage Trucks of the World, you can find it at

It was while I was on Facebook the other day I realised that I have a couple of friends on there who I used to work with in Camden, so I will have to ask them if they want to read the book and see what they remember.

And here is a picture from about 1991 or ’92 in Camden, London in the U.K.

Crew #18 Camden

Crew #18 Camden

Interestingly, Grant is the bloke in the picture with the Mindarie Western Australia top, which is quite coincidental to the fact that he was a Kiwi in London wearing clothing from Western Australia, and here I am all these years later living in Western Australia.

Last I heard Grant had met a girl in the Oxford Arms and they moved to Melbourne.

The bloke standing closest to the Truck is Shane Wyatt. He was also a Kiwi but the last I heard from him he had joined the Black Watch, a Scottish Regiment, and moved to Scotland.

Anyway, the Truck in this picture had possibly the beefiest compactor I have ever seen. The Vulture

The biggest problem we had with them was keeping them within the legal carrying capacity, because the trucks could pack several tonnes more than that with ease.

Figure 11