For a job that already entails so much work, these finds must have been tough. Thanks to all the garbage collectors who shared their stories.
Reposted, with permission from Odometer.
1/19. In my 4 years in that department we had to dump fully loaded trucks on the ground 2 times and spread out the load looking for a body, found one once. I decided not to look at it, I think I made the right choice.
2/19. I was a garbage man while attending community college. I once grabbed a bag as I normally would and tossed it in the back of the truck. A few moments later I heard a soft crying that freaked me out once I realized it was coming from the truck. I ripped through a bunch of bags until I found 5 beagle puppies covered in something awful and crying. After gaining my composure I found a big plastic bowl and filled it with newspaper, put all the puppies in and called the cops. Had to provide a statement and show up to a court hearing. The guy plead guilty and paid a fine (not sure how much). He said he believed they were all still born.
3/19. I'm a former sanitation department supervisor. My guys called me frantic one day after an explosion in the hopper of the truck. Thankfully no one was injured, but I called the fire department. Turns out the Police had been watching the house we were in front of because the guy was cooking meth. He threw away some of the ingredients, and when they compacted in the truck, everything exploded. The best part was the fact that the guy sat out front watching the show in a bathrobe. He eventually got dressed and came back out. When he was arrested he had drugs in his pants. Apparently he didn't own any pants without drugs in the pockets. Source
4/19. It's surprisingly hard to dispose of prosthetic limbs. We found that out the hard way when my Dad passed and we had a leg to find a home for. The guy who made it wouldn't take it back until my mom called him basically crying saying that she couldn't find any other organization or hospital who wanted it. He took it out of pity. But, when my Mom took the sneaker off the prosthetic limb before she dropped it off she found $2000 cash! Dad always liked casual gambling. Source
5/19. One time we found a guy's ashes in one of the standard plastic tubs funeral homes give out. His information was still on the side. When management contacted the family to try and have the tub picked up, it turned out that they threw the poor dude out on purpose. Source
6/19. Thought I had a good score one day when I picked up a computer with some pretty good specs. Took it home and was having a ball investigating it...until I found some porn. Pedophile porn. I took it straight to the cops. They used the computers browser history to make more than one arrest. Source
7/19. Last week we found a garbage bag filled with rotten meat and loose needles with no caps. When this happens, we stop the conveyor and call the boss up to safely collect the hazardous material and take pictures. Based on some mail that was in the bag, management was able to find the exact place it was picked up from. I'm not sure there's much they can do about it, but it should be considered assault. Safe to say whoever put those needles in there knew damn well that another person would be handling it afterwards. Source
8/19. The amount of sketchy things thrown away is innumerable. I can't tell you how many times hospitals threw their bio waste out to save on disposal fees. It got so bad the landfill ended up reporting them. That's just the ones we saw who knows how many weren't caught. Source
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9/19. Two of my closest friends were roommates and just moved into a new apartment in Youngstown, OH. The first several days after moving in, they would stand outside their door, smoke cigarettes and drink beer next to their personal garbage container. Each time they would finish a beer or a cigarette, they would open the garbage container and quickly throw away their butt or can because the smell of the garbage was so awful.
One morning they awoke to the garbage man pounding on the door. When they opened the door, he asked "are you aware there is a dead lady in your garbage container?"
They had to go outside and attempt to identify her, although neither knew of the lady.
10/19. I did waste removal at a quad Plex house. We had a tenant that did not keep up with the utilities during the eviction process. They lived in this apartment for 2 months without running water. We opened the doors and inside was rows upon rows of bottles filled with p*ss and s*it. Source
11/19. The only thing I brought to the police's attention were a bunch of brass WWI and WWII grave marker medallions I found in the recycle bins. People sell them for scrap, but that usually gets local attention pretty quick, and the police will crack down, so they'll end up dumping them. Source
12/19. Me and my partner were called to a location that was far away from our regular route one day. We met our supervisor there. He points to a tree. I look up and see a huge mass hanging 20 feet off the ground. It was dark and about 3X3 feet big. The police and fire department show up and used a ladder to cut it down. When it hit the ground, the smell was so bad that us, the PD and FD all backed up very quickly. Me and my partner had the pleasure to grab this thing and toss it into the truck. There had to be between 50-75 dead rats on this thing, all tied together. We asked the police what it was all about and they said most likely a form of religious sacrifice. Source
13/19. One time the price of scrap metal skyrocketed. Had a problem with a group of retirees on lawn tractors picking pop cans out of residential bins when the price of aluminum spiked a while ago. The town had to make an ordinance because a lot of people were using lawn tractors as ways to skirt their driver's licenses being taken away for DUIs and the like. Source
14/19. One time, my partner and I saw huge amounts of blood leaking from multiple trash bags that we had just thrown into the truck. We called our supervisor and he looked at it and just said keep going. Source
15/19. I work for a junk removal company. One time, we went into this guys' house to take out some old furniture, including a large desk. We finish, drive to the transfer station, and dump our load. When the desk comes sliding out and hits the concrete, it breaks apart and lo and behold, a. 357 magnum revolver comes tumbling out. Being from Canada, this is fairly unusual and a pretty illegal way to store your restricted firearm. So I called the cops, and left it with the dump people because we had a schedule to keep. Never heard anything more about it, surprisingly. Source
16/19. Former wastewater treatment plant operator (sewage treatment) in Virginia I never called the police myself over something found in the plant but I did find some crazy things. Once I found several female student IDs from the large university in town. Emailed all of the girls, one responded and retrieved all the IDs. Not too crazy except a few years later we find out there was a serial killer/rapist/sexual violence perpetrator who preyed on 18-24 year olds in the area. I never saw any type of ID or credit cards so close together in the screenings and it always made me wonder how they got there. Source
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17/19. We received a call from the mayor one day that we needed to go pick up this evicted tenant's stuff from an apartment. When going to help a few guys lift the bed and couch, I noticed empty vials laying around. I told my coworkers to be cautious as I knew there was a possibility of needles being in the furniture. After taking a closer look, this guy had shoved dirty needles down in his couch and bed in hopes of someone picking it up and getting stabbed. Needless to say, I did not touch anything else on that run. Source
18/19. I was a recycling bin man in the south west of the UK. One guy would pick up peoples' bins and the other would sort through them into glass, plastic tin paper etc in the van while we were driving along. Once I found a poo wrapped in a paper towel placed on top of some neatly sorted recycling. We were all so disgusted that we drove back and emptied the whole bin on their lawn. Source
19/19. I found a box wrapped in duct tape, like the kind of thing you would do to someone as a joke for Xmas. Well, I picked it up and it weighed around 25 pounds and it was only maybe a 6x6 box. I slowly set it down and immediately called the bomb squad. They had an incident similar to this almost a week prior in the park someone was going around leaving suspicious packages around on national monuments seeing how long it took for people to find them and the police to respond The box was full of sand and rocks. It was a fake bomb. Source