Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 19, 2012

Garbage worker finds man’s missing wallet in the trash



Richard Richmond figured he’d lost his wallet forever.

It disappeared Dec. 5,and left Richmond and his wife Vickie in a panic. The billfold contained Richmond’s driver’s license, credit card and, most importantly, his cherished family pictures.

“I was bummed,” Richmond said. “I looked everywhere and didn’t know where it was at.”

But what happened next amazed the Traverse City couple. The Richmonds called their trash hauler, American Waste, as a last resort to see if the wallet somehow wound up in the garbage. Five workers at American Waste started searching.

Sure enough, workers found Richmond’s wallet buried in a 72,000-pound mountain of trash.

“We ripped through all the white trash bags for about 35 minutes,” said Earl Sutherland, a route supervisor for American Waste. “Then the loader came, pushed the trash, and there it was. It popped right up.”

Within an hour, the company had called the Richmonds with good — if shocking — news.

American Waste said it receives calls from time to time from customers desperate to find lost belongings. “We don’t find their items all the time,” Sutherland said. “But sometimes we do.”