Landfill: The weird and weirder - Blog

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Thursday 8th January 2015

Following news this week that 18,000 cakes were stolen from a landfill site in Serbia I decided to do some research on odd things which have turned up in landfill sites around the world.

Explosives are a common theme, with workers in Nuneaton finding a live grenade and in America a fake bomb was found that sparked an entire investigation. In Florida a smoke bomb from the Vietnam War was discovered next to a dud grenade from World War 2. Meanwhile, in Washington, weapons-grade plutonium was found that dated back to 1946. In June 2013 we wrote a blog about strange things found in bins, which was inspired by workers for Essex county council finding a live hand grenade in a recycling bin. Just to be clear, Paper Round doesn’t currently accept any type of bomb or ammunition for recycling!

In 2008 a homeless man digging through waste came across confidential blueprints for the Freedom Tower in New York City. Top secret aircraft plans have also been found. Sounds like these guys could have done with a bit of help from our shredding service.

Wedding dresses seem to be a “routine” discovery (just think of the cost-per-wear from these garments. You have to wonder, were these dressed robbed of their destinies and chucked before a waltz down the aisle?!). Collectibles like coins, books, magazines and newspapers also turn up. Cash is another regular occurrence, especially when someone has been clearing out a house, it can turn up in mattresses and all sorts of other items. Buried treasure, indeed!

Even the police aren’t immune from these types of mistakes: evidence bags, from an open case, were found in the states, too.

In 1983 Atari conducted a mass burial of unsold video game cartridges, consoles and computers in New Mexico. In April last year the site was excavated and a small number of games were recovered and either given to museums or auctioned.

Finally, animals often appear too. From someone’s tortoise that they then claimed back, to entire families of cats. (Of course, cats are often hanging out around rubbish out of choice – where better to catch a juicy rat?). At the beginning of last year, a sperm whale washed up on a beach in Edinburgh which was then taken to Dunbar landfill facility. Not the most poetic of burials we’ve ever heard of, poor little whale.

Tell us your weird and wonderful trashy treasures by tweeting us @PaperRound

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