Left to right, Bud Hobbs and his son Bryce Hobbs. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

Left to right, Bud Hobbs and his son Bryce Hobbs. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

Racing cars, collecting trash – retired Langford garbage man has seen it all

Bud Hobbs retires from garbage man after 35 years of joyful memories

For most of his life, Bud Hobbs has proudly called himself a garbage man.

After 35 years, he retired from Alpine Group that was taken over by Green For Life (GFL), driving the garbage truck and putting smiles on people’s faces daily.

Before landing the job at Alpine, Hobbs found himself working at a gas station and got offered a job working for Shlead and Poshea, a garbage company.

He worked at Shlead and Poshea for five years until Stew Young, former Langford mayor and owner of Alpine, offered him a job. Hobbs says Young was “one of the best bosses ever.”

“If things were going bad, he would come down to the yard at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, ‘Here’s $1 000, guys, thanks.’ It would make us work harder,” Hobbs said.

Alpine also played a large role in getting Hobbs into racing cars. Since Hobbs was 19, he started pursuing his passion for cars and racing in competitions.

“My cousin, I use to watch him all the time and that got me hooked,” said Hobbs, who has raced cars for 40 years.

Young had supplied Hobbs with a car sporting Alpine’s colours and logo. Hobbs’ son Bryce uses the Alpine car to race against his dad, who now drives his friend Mike Whitley’s car from Big Block Auto. The first race that father and son did together, they crashed into each other.

“Driving a race car is harder than most people think,” said Bud. “You need to be very fit, you have to have a lot of stamina, it’s very different than what you think. Race car drivers know what it is. My kid gets in the car, last race he did 91 green flag laps and at the end of the race he was done. He’s 21 years old, but I can still do it at 64. It’s pretty cool I’m racing against him, that’s a total bucket list thing.”

The pair are racing against each other in the upcoming Canada 200 taking place over the long weekend in September at the Saratoga Speedway nearby Campbell River.

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Hobbs took off only about five years of racing because of “marriage problems,” he said. Although Hobbs and his ex-wife are no longer together, he still values family very deeply.

“Family is the most important,” Hobbs said. “Everyone comes around to this property and it’s just family, heart, and love which is the most important in life.”

Hobbs says Alpine is also his family as they had his back and helped him stay healthy.

“I used to be very big and Stew Young says, ‘Hey, I want you to be able to work for me for a lot longer. Go see this naturopathic doctor back to back.” Hobbs lost 87 pounds and “that saved my life. You live once, you want to be healthy and do everything you can.”

To celebrate Hobbs’ retirement from his role as a garbage man, his team threw him a pancake breakfast in their drivers’ break room the morning of his last day. One of his managers at his former place of work, Heather Bowmen – Hobbs called her “his rock” – held his arm and walked him about 100 feet from the drivers’ room to his former garbage truck crying the whole time. At the end of the day, Bowman dressed up as Scrappy, the mascot the company had when it was called Alpine and surprised Hobbs.

Hobbs is now happily working at Capital City Paving driving a pick-up truck, delivering and picking up parts.

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