There’s plenty a humorous tale to prove the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but when one Ohio family accidentally threw their grandma’s treasure into the trash, it was no laughing matter.
Unbeknownst to her relatives, the canny granny had stashed $25,000 in cold hard cash in her freezer. While tidying up the kitchen, her erstwhile kinfolk accidentally tossed out the tidy sum along with the outdated frozen veggies.
It was only after the fact that the elderly woman remembered to warn her family not to misplace the envelope with the money in it, but by then, it was too late. The garbage had already been collected and her nest egg was on its way to the city landfill.
Frantic, the family reached out to Republic Solid Waste Services to see if there was any way their grandma’s missing savings could be retrieved.
It would all depend, they learned, on whether or not the truck had already arrived at the landfill. Had the truck offloaded at the dumpsite, it would have been a lost cause.
“The bulldozers… immediately start smoothing it out, pushing it into the hill, dropping dirt on it and start covering up the process of the landfill,” Republic operations supervisor Gary Capan told Cleveland’s ABC News-5. “…We do that in a nonstop process [so] if it got dropped there, there’s no finding it anymore.”
Luckily, Capan was able to track down the driver who had yet to make the drop-off. The truck was diverted to a nearby recycling center where its six-ton cargo of garbage was disgorged on the tarmac, and a crew of 10 stalwart workers immediately began sifting through the mountain of refuse in search of the buried booty.
And find it they did—in record time.
“[I] couldn’t believe it took 10 minutes and actually, I said, ‘Man, it looks just like that,’ pulled it off, opened it up and there was the package inside with the money. They (the family) were so happy, they were tearing up,” Dan Schoewe, operations manager at the recycling center told News-5. “It’s rare that we can find something for somebody, so this is like the biggest one I’ve seen in 30 years.”
While we’re glad this story has a happy ending, a word of warning to the well-meaning de-clutters of the world: elderly people often have a habit of squirreling money and other valuables away in the oddest places, so if helping clear out a loved one’s residence is on your to-do list, be sure to proceed with caution.
Since “greens” from the U.S. Mint generally have no expiration date, it would be a sin to throw them out.