From voodoo dolls to dodgy royal wedding merchandise, the downright strange things found in your bins. We sometimes give little thought to what we throw out, but staff at one recycling company have found everything from dead animals to a cremation urn nestled among people’s rubbish.
“Whenever you think you’ve seen it all in the waste business, something new comes along and shocks you.” Staff at recycling company businesswaste.co.uk say their unusual finds sometimes provoke a chuckle and a misbelieving shake of the head. But sometimes, the authorities have had to be called, such is the bizarre nature of the finds sometimes thrown out in people’s trash.
“We like to encourage people to recycle as much of their waste as possible, but sometimes you wonder if the message is getting through,” said a spokesman.
Things found in waste collections and recycling centres include dead animals, a cremation urn, a pile of unsold royal wedding merchandise with “Kate” misspelled as “Cate”. Another team found £5,000 in used notes, which they gave to charity after the owner failed to come forward, and another unearthed the grim discovery of a voodoo doll covered in blood. A box of “free Nelson Mandela” t-shirts was discovered just year – prompting the question of why the owner had hung on to them for so long – and the staggering trio of a wedding dress, engagement ring and complete wedding cake was found on another occasion.
“We hung on to them for a while, but nobody claimed them,” said a team member.
The police had to be summoned when what was thought to be a human skull was stumbled upon. It turned out to be a prop from a theatre company in the middle of a clear-out. Another time, a box of unused breast implants was discovered, and even winning lottery tickets – discarded alongside banana skins and crisp packets – have been come across.
“Collecting and recycling waste is tremendously hard work. 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,” said the businesswaste.co.uk spokesman.