Grand Rapids police were called to the Kent County Recycling Center on Tuesday when plant employees unearthed a 130-year-old cannonball from the Civil War, Fox17 reports.
When it was found the munition was still live, the plant was promptly evacuated and the Michigan State Police bomb squad was called to action to diffuse the antique find.
Kent County commissioner Phil Skaggs shared a photo of the weapon, posing to his constituents a simple, yet bizarre, request: “Do not recycle cannonballs from any war.”
“So, we have a once-in-a-century viral pandemic, a once-in-a-few-generations economic collapse, a once-in-a-few-generations dam collapse … Something called murder hornets, and now we have had to evacuate the recycling plants because someone tried to recycle a civil war cannonball,” Skaggs’ Facebook post reads.
It seems like the county just can’t get a break lately, but at least this incident didn’t result in any injuries.
“This afternoon, a Civil War-era cannonball was found on the recycling process line. The Grand Rapids police and fire departments were contacted and dispatched to the Recycle Center,” a statement from the Kent County Department of Public Works reads.
“Officers determined that the cannonball was live ordinance (gunpowder and likely percussion cap style detonator) and evacuated the premises. The Michigan State Police bomb squad was dispatched and the ordinance was safely removed.”
Despite the age of the cannonball, its gunpowder could still have been set off under the right conditions, Fox17 says.
It goes without saying that everyone should check with their respective municipalities to figure out what can and definitely cannot be recycled.