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Recycling unusual suspects; Viridor supports National Recycle Week

11th September 2016

Viridor employees outside a container after successfully locating a missing item

From the 12th to the 18th September its National Recycle Week, organised and coordinated by WRAP it is now in its 13th year and is a celebration of recycling. The theme ‘The Unusual Suspects’ focuses on the more unusual items that research shows are being mistaken for recycling. As one of the largest recyclers across the UK, recycling 2.4 million tonnes each year, Viridor know only too well the ‘unusual suspects’ that our customers recycle, often simply by accident.

With recycling becoming much more of the norm across the UK and our fast paced busy everyday lives it is perhaps not surprising that that some ‘unusual suspects’ get swept into the recycling system by accident. It’s more common than you’d think; it’s become a regular occurrence at our Recycling Centres. Luckily our dedicated staff are always up for the challenge of reuniting the missing ‘unusual suspect’; safety sifting through recycling, often optimistically looking for a needle in a haystack in order to reunite the item with its owner.

Here are our top five:

5 – We’ve heard of plenty of excuses to upgrade to a new mobile phone handset but chucking it into a big skip takes it a bit far. As luck would have it (or not) the phone was balanced on the ledge of the skip and our site operative found it undamaged, used his detective skills to call the last number dialled which was the customers daughter, and the two were reunited.

4 – When Emily accidently recycled her purse along with a bundle of cardboard it was not just the inconvenience of cancelling and replacing all her bank cards, the filled her with dread. She also kept a locket of hair in there from a family member that no amount of money or time could replace. She turned to our site staff for help who painfully and safely sorted through a massive pile of cardboard for over an hour in the baking heat to eventually find and return it.

3 – We all know all sorts of metal can be recycled even old car keys but one site user recycled his before their time potentially leaving him and his car stranded on site, notwithstanding the cost of replacing them. As the keys went ‘clunk’ right to the bottom of a full metal recycling container hopes of retrieving them fell away, however our heroes of the day swiftly emptied the container and sieved through ultimately finding the keys and reuniting them so a happy customer could literally drive away.

2 – Some things can’t easily be replaced and a wedding ring is one of those; most have little value to anyone else than the owner. So when one customer realised it had slipped off his finger when recycling some old clothes he turned to our site staff in hope. The textile banks are emptied by a contractor so the customer had an agonising wait until they could get to site to empty the container, Site staff then safely searched through the old clothes and thankfully found his ring.

1 – Finally one lady was pushing her luck when she recycled £200 of Christmas money, the cash was packed in an envelope that mum had mistaken for rubbish on a new year clear out of her daughter’s bedroom. Devastated when she realised her mistake she rushed to the recycling centre with little hope that it could be found. Without any promises of success Stuart the site chargehand started a search through a nearly full skip of paper and card. After a meticulous and long search he was delighted he could hand back the cash.

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