Seeing the Garbage Man Brings Unspeakable Joy to Special Needs Teen

A special needs teen is beside himself every time he sees a very special garbage man.

There is something about garbage trucks that just blows the mind of 16-year-old Jonathan Haselbusch. 

Make that a specific garbage truck, driven by a very special trash man named Antonio.

Jonathan, a California teen with special needs, lives for the moment when Antonio pulls up to his Canyon Country home and empties the family's garbage bins. 

He grins. He shakes. He squeals and jumps up and down. He points gleefully to Antonio, who hops from his truck and hooks the Haselbusch's plastic barrel to his truck's robotic arm, which carries the bin skyward then dumps it backwards into the gaping maw of Antonio's rig.

Meanwhile, Antonio steps forward to wrap his arms around Jonathan, who can barely stand still, so excited is he by this demonstration of trash technology and human kindness.

Jonathan's mother captured on video a recent meeting between her son and their garbage man and posted it online, where it of course went viral.

"I just pulled out my phone and there you have it," she told "It was the most amazing, priceless, beautiful thing that I could ever share with anybody," she said.

Jonathan's relationship with Antonio began about a year ago, when Jonathan, who loves to draw, began leaving samples of his work on top of the family's trash bins.

But Antonio didn't put those drawings into the business end of his truck. He stored them inside the cab.

"I was just so touched he did that," said Christina.

Days later, Christina heard the garbage truck coming down her street and ran outside with Jonathan and flagged Antonio down. She introduced her son as a "special needs guy" and Antonio didn't bat an eye. He just smiled and hugged the boy.

Sometimes Antonio has other routes, but when he cruises Jonathan's neighborhood, he always keeps an eye out for him.

"I'm sure he looks forward to seeing Jonathan," said the teen's mom. "It's pretty special to have people love on my son the way I do."

Seeing Antonio interact with her son — a grown man and a boy who will always be a boy — is truly a gift, she said. "It's exciting to see Jonathan get so excited. It just fills your heart with so much love and so much appreciation for the simple things in life."

Part of what fills her heart is the kindness shown by her garbage man. "He's an outstanding man," she said. "He goes above and beyond. He never had to stop and take pictures off the trash cans. I think that's an example of somebody who has a genuine, loving heart."