One person’s trash is another person’s cash. Literally.
An average day on the job at Sackers Scrap Metal and Waste Recycling in Ipswich, England turned up a not-so-average discovery in June.
Employees at the scrapyard were cutting up an old, rusty safe when they cracked it open and discovered thousands of pounds in old notes and currency, the company says. They initially tried to find the proper owner, but when that effort fell through they were allowed to do whatever they wanted with the free money.
In true Christmas spirit, the company has gifted the cash to St. Elizabeth Hospice and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH), which is one of Kate Middleton‘s royal patronages.
David Dodds, who runs Sackers, said the two hospices are “very close to us.”
“It’s such a lovely surprise before Christmas,” Liz Baldwin of St. Elizabeth Hospice told the BBC. “We’re so pleased that they have decided to split the findings with the hospice and EACH.”
“We’re very grateful to hear of the company’s intention to make another such generous donation,” Rachel Dally, corporate fundraising assistant at EACH Suffolk, told the broadcaster.
When the money was found, staff handed it over to the police, the company said. A person came forward to claim the findings, but they were quickly found not to be the proper owner.
A magistrates’ court found Sackers to be the legal owner, given it was found on their property, according to the BBC.
At the time, yard manager Kevin Harrington said in a statement that it’s very common for Sackers to receive safes, but staff tend to save them to deal with later as they’re tough to get rid of.
“We had about eight in at the time when we started snipping them. We’d snipped up three before we found the money,” Harrington said.
“It had been in there a long while, the money was very dusty and we didn’t count it all but we guesstimate that there was £20,000 (CA$35,000) in there but not all legal tender anymore, which shows how long it had been left for.”