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13 Craziest Things Garbage Collectors Have Found in the Trash

Updated: Dec. 02, 2022

As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Check to see which insane garbage can finds make your trash or treasure lists.

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Get ready to gasp at some garbage

If there’s one thing we can be sure of in life, it’s that weird things happen all the time—and we’re intrigued by them. From weird facts to weird archaeology discoveries, we want to know the ins and outs of the odd and bizarre. Yes, that includes the weird things being found in weird places, like the garbage. Curious? Let’s look at some of the craziest things garbage collectors have found in the trash, according to Reddit threads.

Urn Ashes Garbage Finds Collage
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Ashes of the deceased

“One time we found a guy’s ashes in one of the standard plastic tubs funeral homes usually give out. His information was still on the side. Our management contacted his family using the information that was written on the side of his plastic tub. But the family said they threw the poor man out on purpose.” Don’t forget to check out the strangest things found by deep sea divers.

Knives Photograph Album Garbage Finds Collage
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A photo album stabbed with a knife

“As a student, I worked at a landfill ‘directing traffic’ one summer. A customer came and wanted to bury something and asked me to dig him a hole. He drove an all-black Cadillac with tinted windows and nice rims. But the machine operator didn’t want to switch machines to dig a hole, so he offered the animal pit instead. I watched as the mysterious man threw out a book. Once he drove off, I peered into the animal pit, only to find a photo album with a knife lodged right in the middle. It still gives me the creeps!” This is definitely weird, and so are these odd things found during home inspections.

Rats Garbage Finds Collage
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Dead rats

“One day, my partner and I were called to a location that was outside our regular route one day. We met our supervisor at the location and he asked us to look up at the tree we were standing near. I look up and see a huge mass hanging in the tree about 20 feet off the ground. The police and fire department showed up about five minutes later. A firefighter climbed up a ladder to cut the bag down from a branch. As the bag hit the ground, it released a putrid smell. The mysterious mass ended up being a huge pile of at least 50-75 dead rats tied together. The police suggested it might be a form of ritual sacrifice. My partner and I had the ‘pleasure’ of tossing the bag into our truck. I’ve been working for the sanitation department for 14 years and that had to be the nastiest thing I have ever seen. I’ll never forget the smell.” Need a break yet? If so, check out the craziest things actually found in people’s bodies.

Weapon Gun Garbage Finds Collage
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“I work for a junk removal company. One time, we took out some old furniture, including a large desk from this guy’s house. Once we were finished and drove to the transfer station. As we dumped our load, the desk came sliding out and hit the concrete. It broke apart and lo behold, a .357 Magnum revolver comes tumbling out.”

Grave Stone Garbage Finds Collage
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Veteran Grave Markers

“I found a bunch of brass World War I and World War II grave marker medallions in the recycle bins and reported them to the police. Hopefully, they went back to where they belonged.” Here are some of the most bizarre things homeowners have found in their backyards.

People Garbage Finds Collage
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“It’s fairly frequent that we have homeless people mistakenly fall asleep inside a dumpster and delivered to a landfill or other processing facility.”  – Kelly Sarber, President & CEO of Strategic Management Group. Trash cans aren’t the only places where creepy things are lurking, your home is too! These are some of the creepiest things that people found in their homes.

Comic Strips Garbage Finds Collage
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Famous cartoon drafts

“One time my co-worker and I were hauling garbage from a Hollywood back lot where we typically found a lot of gently-used props, but that day I found some animation cels [transparent sheets that can be drawn on and used for cartoon productions] of Woody Woodpecker and Buzz Buzzard. Since I’m an artist in my spare time, I grabbed these right up! Finders keepers, right?”

Body Parts Garbage Finds Collage
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Body parts

“I worked at a medical waste factory where we would find amputated body parts and bins full of blood and used needles.” Crazy and creepy things aren’t just limited to garbage cans, check out these crazy things people have seen in hotel rooms.

Money Garbage Finds Collage
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Cold hard cash

“I found $4,000 worth of cash in a cereal box once. Local gypsies had been cleaning out their caravan and threw out the box of cash by mistake. We managed to find the box and rightfully return them their money.”

Diamond Ring Garbage Finds Collage
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Diamond Rings

“We had a woman in New York City mistakenly toss her diamond ring into the trash. She then paid to have one of the massive barges that took waste from Manhattan to Fresh Kills landfill pulled out of service so the garbage collectors could dig through the thousands of tons of trash until they found it. Thankfully, they did!” —Kelly Sarber, President & CEO of Strategic Management Group

Raccoon Garbage Finds Collage
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“My favorite thing about emptying people’s trash is the ‘Raccoon Surprise’! You open the top of a can and stick your hand in to grab the bag, but instead grab a raccoon or two. I’ve saved a few of those cute little creatures.”

New Electronics Garbage Finds Collage
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Brand new electronics

“My friend’s dad was a garbage man. He would drive around to all the businesses like Walmart, Best Buy, etc., to pick up the big dumpsters outback every evening. He always found the coolest stuff thrown away! Mostly electronics like televisions and laptops. His dad would sell most of the stuff he found on eBay. My friend had a Sony Dream System [an entertainment system set with speakers and a DVD/CD player] in his room that his dad found in the garbage.”

Biohazard Waste Garbage Finds Collage
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Hospital biohazard waste

“I ran a large trash hauling company in Georgia for three years. I can’t tell you how many times hospitals threw their biowaste out to save on disposal fees. It got so bad the landfill ended up reporting them.”


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