Honey, I recycled the keys

We are coming to the end of Recycle Week and weekends are a busy time for our Recycling Centres.  Around half a million vehicles visited our Recycling Centres in August and September 2016 – that’s a lot of keen recyclers… some a little too keen. Some unexpected items get recycled by accident and like in slow motion, the moment you realise it, it’s too late… Luckily our dedicated staff are always up for the challenge (often optimistically looking for a needle in a haystack) to reunite the item with its owner.

Here are just some of the items that get accidentally recycled:

Mobile Phone

We’ve heard of plenty of excuses to upgrade to a new mobile handset but chucking it into a big skip takes it a bit far. As luck would have it (or not) Peter’s phone was balanced on the ledge of the skip at Liverpool Road Recycling Centre which was found by staff undamaged.  It was reunited with Peter when staff had the clever idea to call the last number dialled.


Staff and Emily’s purse


When Emily accidentally recycled her purse along with a bundle of cardboard it was not just the inconvenience of cancelling and replacing all her bank cards, that filled her with dread. She also kept a lock of hair in there from a family member that no amount of money could replace. She turned to Chester Road Recycling Centre staff for help and they painstakingly sorted through a massive pile of cardboard for over an hour in the baking heat to eventually find and return it.

Car Keys

We all know all sorts of metal can be recycled, even old car keys, but Isobel recycled her keys before their time, potentially leaving her and her car stranded at Sandfold Lane Recycling Centre. As the keys went ‘clunk’ right to the bottom of a full  scrap metal recycling container, hopes of retrieving them fell away. However our heroes of the day swiftly emptied the container and located the keys, reuniting them with a happy Isobel who could (literally) drive away.


Neil and his wedding ring

Wedding Ring

Some things can’t easily be replaced and a wedding ring is one of them.  This ring had extra sentimental value because is was made from his dad’s wedding ring and his mother-in-law’s jewellery both of whom have passed away. Neil realised it had slipped off his finger when recycling some bottles at Longley Lane Recycling Centre – after some rummaging, the ring was saved and it also saved Neil some earache from his wife!


Stuart and Lisa

Christmas Cash

Finally, Lisa thought she was pushing her luck when she hoped to find the £200 of Christmas money she had recycled.  The cash was packed in an envelope that had been mistaken for waste paper on a New Year clear out. Devastated when she realised her mistake, Lisa rushed to Ash Road Recycling Centre with little hope that it could be found. Without any promises of success, Stuart from the Recycling Centre 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 to Lisa.

A big thank you to the staff and a big thank you to all the residents of Greater Manchester for their recycling efforts!  In August 2016, 82% of waste at Recycling Centres was either recycled, composted or recovered for energy.

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