Trash Collectors Share The Most Memorable Thing They've Found In The Garbage


One person's trash is another's treasure... especially if your job is to collect what people throw away. Anybody want to go dumpster diving?

vaultmaira asked garbagemen of Reddit: What's the most memorable thing you've found in the trash?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


My cousin works for waste management and he found a freaking bouncy castle. He just needed a few patches and we got that sucker going every holiday.


We got a bounce house for my son's third birthday. Party was in my back yard on Saturday morning. They were short staffed for the weekend and asked if we wouldn't mind hanging onto it for an extra day. They dropped off the bounce house Friday afternoon and didn't pick it up until Monday evening. We bounced from the moment they dropped it off until we couldn't bounce anymore. My wife is convinced we need one as a permanent installation in the yard.


Thats a good find, the prices of bouncy castles have shot up over the years, largely due to inflation.


It sucks because whenever the price looks like it's about to go down it always bounces back.


You literally could start an easy side hustle with that bad boy.


Poor little guy.

My dad found a live rooster in a trashcan once while working. The weirdest part about it is that there was other trash on top of it. Either that rooster was dumb and unlucky or someone was trying to get rid of it.


Did he keep the rooster? What happened to it? I would have kept the rooster.


Once he saw it in the can he just turned the can on its side and let the rooster walk out. I'm sure my step mom would have killed him if he brought home another pet lol.


A fake dead body.

A corpse that turned out to be a Halloween prop. It scared the sh*t out of me.


The reverse Elmer McCurdy.


To be fair, reverse Elmer McCurdy is probably far more common.


Make sure you wash it.

I used to work in a very high class neighborhood. I've found plenty of valuable items like MacBooks, $2k camera lens, hoverboards, etc.

The most memorable is probably the life size black male blow up doll.


"How dare you accuse me of racism. Some of my best friends are black. Hold on a minute..."

phwoooof phwoooof phwooof phwooof


Free Hallmark stationary.

My dad was doing some work at a mall and noticed employees carrying box after box of stuff out to the dumpster. Apparently a Hallmark store was closing or moving or something and they were just unloading the stock. He filled his truck up with as much of it as he could and brought it home. What followed was one of the best nights of my young life. I got a TON of cool toys and stationary, but the jackpot was like dozens of these funny battery operated fluffy dogs, and these hilarious flying pigs. You could hook them to the ceiling and turn them on and they'd fly in a circle. We had them all going at once and it was absolutely hysterical! My parents gave them away as gag gifts for years afterward.


And they were gonna just throw all that stuff away? What a waste.


I work for said company. We throw out roughly 5 grand worth of product out every 3 months or so, just in one store. We're supposed to slice through the product with a box cutter before tossing it away, to deter salvagers.


Talk about treasure...

I was about to drop off our weekend trash at my in-laws mountain cabin. The community shares a central garbage center and you have to stop there on your way out as there is no collection service.

Anyway this guy is about to throw a 55" brand new flatscreen into the compactor. I stop him and say hey man, what's wrong with it? He says, won't turn on - you want it? I say sure.

Take it home, unscrew the bezel. Power cord running to the back side of the power button on the bottom of the unit is not plugged in. I plug it in, TV powers immediately.

It's in my basement now - played Breath of the Wild in glorious 55" dumpster TV glory. It's lightweight so I also carry it outside for football in the fall.


Where's the meat?

A deer's ribcage is probably the most memorable, it was during the hunting season so not abnormal really.


Ignorant non-hunter here. So what does one do with the remains of a bear, deer, or ? Does it do in the green waste (biodegradable), recycle bin or trash?


Usually just bury it or dump it in the woods. Forest critters are incredibly efficient as long as you not dumping numerous bodies in a small amount of time.


Apparently people throw away cards containing cash.

Worked in several recycling centers last year doing some things. Apparently there are lines that are much preferred. The paper sorting line is the best. They find a lot of cool looking art stuff and stickers and such. They are stuck up all around the paper sorting booths. They actually look pretty cool.

One of my contacts at a plant said he used to work there and they always swipe out unopened cards. Most times nothing, sometimes checks (can't be cashed) and sometimes CASH. He said he found $275 in one card. The paper sorters are the top of the recycling world I guess.


Currently working at a recycling center. Actually called a MRF or material reclamation facility. Paper line is the worst. Its last on the stream so nothing interesting besides stickers and old porn. Now the container line is the spot you want. It is middle of the stream so most big paper and cardboard is gone. Easier to see the cool stuff. And it smells like laundry detergent rather than sticky soda or dog sh*t. (Apparently dog owner think sh*t is recyclable). I happened to find several wallets with cash. Most I have found in one was $400. Most memorable thing I have seen on the line is pre sort. The first stop on the production line. We had two horses heads come down the line. Yes horse head. Someone killed two horses. Severed their heads. Then thought let's recycle this.


Medical gear.

Ran a small town dump for a couple of years. Always fantasized about finding a suitcase full of cash. One day I see a medium sized, hard sided suitcase, upside down on the compaction pile.

Walk up, pop the clasps, the top drops like a rock and a cascade of brilliant silver rains to the ground and...HOLY SH*T! Is this from somebody's back room abortion clinic?

There, all a jumble, was a cornucopia of medical gear. Scalpels, bone saws, glass hypodermics, needles and stuff that looked like it belonged in Tourquemada's torture chamber.

Turned out to be from the estate of the town's first osteopath. When it was sorted, the then current osteopath sent the stuff to the first osteopathic school in the US, in Kirksville, Missouri.

Never did find the case of dough, though I did score an antique barbers chair and on a couple of occasions, subbing on the trucks, was totally amazed by the pr0n (it was the 80's, so all dead tree variety) that notable members of the community were fond of.


Assorted treasures.

I work at a landfill, so I hear all the gossip. Someone wealthy had a party and threw away unopened bottles of expensive alcohol. A jewlery store called one time saying someone threw away a piece of nice jewlery on accident...people accident throw away family heirlooms all the time.


Did the jewelry store get told "sure, go ahead, turn left at the broken glass and continue straight until you find the area with the higher-than-usual amount of used needles, should be somewhere around there"?


Reminds me of the time I worked at a popular theme park and my coworker had to tell a lady who accidentally tossed her large DSLR camera into the trash with her leftovers that she may have already put it into the compactor. The lady didn't notice it was gone until 20 minutes after the event so we told her to go talk to the front desk about it. I feel bad for her but do you just forget the giant camera sitting in front of you?


That's it, I'm kinkshaming.

Oh boy strap in.

So the year is 1999. Star Wars 1 just came out and it was everywhere. As a garbage man in San Francisco in particular, I noticed a plethora of Star Wars themed trash. Nothing out of the ordinary, lots of toy boxes, plates and hats from kids birthdays, that kind of stuff. Well one day we're on the routine early morning pick up and we come across what looks like a body wrapped in black trash bags and duct tape next to the dumpster of a local night club. Me and this other guy pick it up together kind of cautiously and realize it's way too light to be an actual body and think it must be a mannequin or something. We unwrap it right there and realize holy sh*t! It's a life size Darth Maul mannequin. Score! However I look at my buddy and he has a horrified look on his face and just stares at Maul's Sith regions. There is a massive purple dildo glued to the front, and looks like they had drilled out a hole in his dark side buns to do their own trench run. And let's just say some proton torpedoes had definitely been fired in it. I gagged a bit and grabbed him by the boots and tossed him into the compactor. That was one I'll never forget.


The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some may consider to be unnatural.


"Can I learn this ability?"

"Not from a Jedi" *sheepish grin.


Rule 34 never fails. Sometimes it really should.


Capitalism is wasteful.

I'm a little late to the party, probably get buried. I do commercial trash, so all my scores come from stores, some apartment buildings.

Candy, piles and endless piles of candy. After holidays is the motherload. One year after Easter I brought home cases of Reese's eggs. Also on the food front, you find alot of chips, cookies, beef jerky, etc.... Sometimes I don't bring lunch haha. Makeup, from high end at Ulta to an entire bag filled with wet n wild products, my wife loves those scores. Recently, I scored 9 boxes of franzia box wine. Unopened appliances, electronics, clothing. Also recently, I brought home a huge pile of free meal tickets to a local chain restaurant A lot of it is sold, alot of it is kept, even more is given away.

It's a great job, pays well, is different every day, no boss breathing down my neck. But ... I get up at 2 am every day.


So... about candy... Last Christmas they were storing the candy outside(because it was really cold) and a bunch of rats infested the candy. So we threw out 6 pallets of Christmas candy. Yeah sure it was in plastic but the rats had lived in the candy for a few days. Peed and pooped all over everything. No joke, one night we counted 60 rats and there were a lot more.

Anyway... just be careful. Pretty sure we created plague candy...


My mother did the same thing with Instant Ramen in the basement. My friends played baseball with it and ate some of the hard instant noodle puck off the street. Then came down with 104° fevers.

Ah, to be young again.


Image by philm1310 from Pixabay

Secrets are heavy. Holding a problem or discomfort inside seems to have its own extra dose of gravity. It feels lonely and usually, the best and only way to lighten that load is to get out.

We tell someone we trust the secret and we feel a little less lonely, and suddenly it doesn't all seem so heavy on our shoulders anymore.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

These days, the deep flaws of humanity are on full display.

Look at the news for just a couple days and you'd concluded that inept leadership, chaotic conflict, disinformation efforts, and environmental violence would appear to be the primary indicators of humanity.

Keep reading... Show less
You May Also Like
Hi friend— subscribe to my mailing list to get inbox updates of news, funnies, and sweepstakes.
—George Takei