The 18 Most Incredible Things Trash Collectors Found on the Job

The Why Files

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever thrown away?

Was it in a bag?

Sometimes, if I’m throwing something especially weird out, I’ll make sure and set it on top or to the side, like I’m showing it off to our garbage collector. As if she’ll appreciate it.

Turns out, they are keeping tabs, and nothing I’ve tossed holds a candle to these 18 tales from AskReddit:

1. Cash!

My ex’s dad was a garbage man for a decade.

He told me once while drunk he found ton of cash in a recycling box and pocketed it before tossing it in the back of the truck.

Said it was almost $3K in a rubber band.

2. Hood Ornament

I once found a big black dildo that was around 10 inches long and a good 2 1/2 inches wide.

We promptly decided to play tag with it and eventually fastened it to the front of the truck.

3. Just an Arm

A severed arm with no hand…

At first I thought it was from an animal, until I looked closer in horror that it clearly was a human elbow.

4. 10 Heads

A normal day at the landfill was interrupted by a scream of terror from the dozer driver who came running full tilt and white as a sheet up to me.

He just kept saying heads, heads, heads, over and over again. They went back to his dozer and found a garbage bag torn open with ten bloody heads spilling out of it.

Somebody had thrown away ten mannequin heads that had been used in a local haunted house.

5. Guns!

I was a garbage man for a number of years in the early 90s.

I live in a very small town that is mostly Italian, and one morning we were sent out to collect the dumpster from a truckstop on the outskirts of town.

As the truck was pouring the contents of the dumpster into the back, I saw a wet box break apart and inside were a bunch of submachine guns and magazines of ammo.

I stopped the winch, told the driver, and we both decided to play dumb (not difficult) and pretend we didn’t see them. So I continued on and crushed it all as though I hadn’t seen them.

I just remember being afraid that they were dropped off for a pickup or exchange and if someone saw me taking them or I was found with them, it’d be a really bad day for me.

6. A House…Kinda

Photo Credit: Pixabay

My uncle in Vegas was a trash man. After work he would walk through the landfill and find casino chips, jewelry, other valuables and money – enough to buy a very nice home on his modest wages after only a couple years.

Rich, drunk and/or stupid means a lot of disposed, as opposed to disposable, wealth.

7. DIY Ricky Williams Kit

When former Football player Ricky Williams briefly retired to become a spiritual guru in the hills, he moved into a place that was on my recycling route.

I noticed a box he tossed once and grabbed it to see if there was any memorabilia or football items related in it.

It looked important.

What was in it was team doctors papers, contracts and just about all the personal information that one would need to actually become Ricky Williams.

I felt weird that this was out there, so I took it home and burned every piece of it in the fireplace.

Felt guilty even looking at it as I tossed it.

8. Jars of Death

In an old school, a forgotten high school chemistry lab from the 60s. Jars and jars of things like thermite, sticks of yellow phosphorous submerged in some yellow-colored liquid that had evaporated to the point where there was only 1/8″ of liquid covering the top of the sticks and the slightest movement would cause the top end of the sticks to be uncovered.

This was all on the same racks as a jar of mercury, about a pound of powdered asbestos, spools of magnesium ribbom, quantities of powdered sulfur, nitroglycerin, potassium permanganate, cans that had rusted through (they still contained – something – but the labels were too corroded to read), acid nitric and too many other bottles to read as just being in that room for a couple of minutes gave me a splitting headache.

It had apparently been a well-stocked chemistry lab for high school students decades previously then one day the school closed so they locked the door and nobody had entered it (much less cleaned it out) for decades.

9. Hitler Stuff

Not me, but my Dad was garbage man. He found his share of cool stuff. He worked from 1969-1989 for the DSNY.

I still have a lamp made from an old brass fire extinguisher that he found, like many others, he found lots of TV’s, some new clothes (usually at Christmas time – that is why we always went through the wrapping paper), baseball cards by the box, wish I kept those, some WWII stuff, most notably an SS Dagger – but one of the wings of the eagle was broken and attached with scotch tape. Stamps, cause I collected them when I was a kid.

I have a Hitler postage stamp somewhere from this.