Garbage collectors band together to find $25,000 cash a family accidentally threw away

We can all recall the panic we feel when we realize we’ve thrown something valuable away by accident.

An Ohio family went into a complete panic after discovering they’d thrown away an envelope containing $25,000.

Sadly, it wasn’t just a case of rummaging through the trash until they found it, as one family member realized the trash collectors had already taken it away.

Republic Services in Oberlin, Lorain County, said they received a frantic call from a woman saying she had accidentally thrown something away in the garbage.

Six days a week Republic Services trucks dump 4,500 tons of trash into its landfill in Oberlin.

“Trucks coming in from every direction, Downtown Cleveland all the way to Vermilion, dumping garbage,” said operations supervisor Gary Capan, as per ABC5 News.

When Capan said he got the call and was told the amount of cash that had been accidentally thrown away he jumped into action.

“It turned out to be $25,000,” he said. “They were cleaning out their house for their grandmother and they cleaned out the refrigerator, threw out all the garbage, grabbed all the freezer stuff and put it in a bag, and then the grandma was like, ‘Hey, there’s an envelope with $25,000 in there, don’t lose that,’ and she’s like, “Grandma, I already lost that, it’s in the garbage!”


Capan said he and his team immediately got to work to find the missing money before it arrived at the landfill and would be lost forever.

His team managed to track down the driver. Thankfully, he hadn’t made it the landfill yet.

“What happens when they get to the landfill is, they will come in, they’ll drop off their load of garbage, the bulldozers will immediately start smoothing it out, pushing it into the hill, dropping dirt on it and start covering up the process of the landfill. And we do that in a nonstop process,” said Capan. “If it got dropped there, there’s no finding it anymore.”

The truck driver was relocated to a recycling center and after dumping his load the crew rushed in to find the cash.


“I told the girls, if it’s in there, we’ll find it for you, because they were pretty upset,” said Dan Schoewe, the operations manager at the recycling center.

Schoewe along with nine of his colleagues started searching for the bag but it was he who spotted the valuable stash.

“Couldn’t believe it took 10 minutes and actually, I said, ‘Man, it looks just like that,’ pulled it off, opened it up and there was the package inside with the money.”

Schoewe said the family was so happy they were tearing up.

“It can be very, very difficult. It’s rare that we can find something for somebody. So this is like the biggest one I’ve seen in 30 years,” said Schoewe.

Such incredible teamwork from Capan and his crew to find this cash. They showed great community spirit that day to help strangers in need.

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