Monday, June 17, 2013

Where There’s Muck … Part 1

Cash, Voodoo Dolls and Wedding Dresses:
Strange Things Found in Everyday Rubbish

One of the UK's leading waste management companies has released a list of the strange, bizarre and downright unusual items found in its waste collections.
UK-wide commercial refuse and recycling company asked staff on collection lorries and recycling centres what were the strangest items they'd seen, and were astounded by the replies.
Bizarre sights included cremation urns, a human skull, and a huge consignment of unused condoms. "Whenever you think you've seen it all in the waste business, something new comes along and shocks you," said Business Waste's Operational Director Mark Hall, "Sometimes it raises a laugh, but there have been occasions when we've had to drop everything and call the police."
"We like to encourage people to recycle as much of their waste as possible, but sometimes you wonder if the message is getting through."
According to workers contacted by, things found in waste collections and recycling centres include the following. Comments are those of people we interviewed:
  • Dead animals – "More common than you think"
  • A cremation urn (happily re-united with anxious relatives)
  • Unsold royal wedding merchandise with "Kate" spelled "Cate"
  • Money - one operator said he finds about £500 year in old clothes. Another team once found £5,000 in used notes, which they gave to charity after nobody came forward
  • Voodoo doll covered in blood
  • Box of "Free Nelson Mandela" T-shirts – "This was only last year. Can't think why they hung on to them for so long"
  • Hundreds of undelivered newspapers – Operators suspect a kid is dumping his paper round every week and pocketing the money
  • Wedding dress, engagement ring, and complete wedding cake – "We hung on to them for a while, but nobody claimed them"
  • Human skull – "The police came along. Turned out to be a prop from a theatrical company having a clear-out"
  • Box of unused breast implants
  • A consignment of 10,000 unused but out-of-date condoms
  • Winning lottery tickets
"Collecting and recycling waste is tremendously hard work," said Mark Hall, "It's a tribute to everybody in the industry that they keep a sense of humour even when they come face-to-face with something horrible."

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