Oregon Man's $23K Mistake Has Improbable Happy Ending

All but $320 survived the cash's trip to a recycling plant
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2019 7:41 AM CDT
Updated Aug 10, 2019 11:32 AM CDT
Oregon Man Tosses Life Savings. It's Found in California
This Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, photo provided by Recology, shows nearly $23,000 in cash discarded at a recycling bin in a shoebox, which was recovered by a worker at the Samoa Resource Recovery Center operated by Recology in Samoa, Calif.   (Brian Sollom/Recology via AP)

A man who accidentally recycled his life savings managed to get back all but $320 of it, and the story of how it got away from him and back to him is a wild one. The unnamed Oregon man accidentally recycled a Vans shoebox on Thursday that held just north of $23,000, reports the Lost Coast Outpost. By the time he figured out what he had done, the box was en route to a Recology recycling facility in Humboldt County, reports the Press Democrat. Recology services more than 1 million homes in Washington, Oregon, and California, and though workers were told to keep an eye out for the box, as the facility's general manager Linda Wise put it, "the odds of finding [it] are not much better than a needle in a haystack." And yet they did.

A worker saw it coming down the sorting line. Some $22,940 of the cash had managed to stay in the box on the Ashland-to-Humboldt journey. The man reportedly made that same journey—a 200-mile one, per the AP—on Saturday to collect it. Had it not been spotted, the cash's fate would have been a gloomy one. Wise tells the Mercury News the shoebox was part of a paper load that was bound for the baler. (More strange stuff stories.)

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