The man mistakenly tossed out the money —which he kept in a shoebox — into the recycling bin outside his home

By Robyn Merrett
August 05, 2019 09:08 PM
money in recyling bin
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An Oregon man has been reunited with his life savings after accidentally throwing it away.

It all started on Thursday when the man, whose identity has not been made public, tossed $23,000 in cash — which he kept in a shoebox — out in a recycling bin outside of his home, The Press Democrat and KTLA reported.

A few hours later, the man realized what he had done and ran outside in hopes of retrieving the money.

However, it was too late as the bin had already been emptied and was en route to California, according to The Press Democrat.

Desperate to get the cash back, the man called Recology — the recycling company that services his area — and told them what happened, according to the outlet.

Late Thursday night, a truck arrived to the Recology recycling facility in Humboldt County, California with items from Oregon.

Workers had been told to keep an eye out for the shoebox.

The next morning while sorting through the recyclables, an employee noticed the box, with money coming out of it, on the sorting line, The Press Democrat reported.

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“We were all excited to see it,” Linda Wise, general manager of the Samoa Resource Recovery Center operated by Recology said to The Press Democrat.

The money had miraculously managed to stay contained inside the box for the entirety of the journey.

“It only toppled out of the box once it got onto the sorting line,” Brian Sollom, operations manager for three Recology recycling facilities in Humboldt County told The Press Democrat.

Sollum revealed they were able to “recover all but $320.”

It is not immediately clear what happened to the remaining amount.

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Following the discovery, Wise called the man, who she said was “ecstatic” to hear the news.

The man and his family drove five hours on Saturday to claim the $22,940.

“Everyone who was on the sorting line was beaming,” Wise told The Press Democrat.

The finding was nothing short of a miracle as Wise explained to the newspaper “the odds of finding that are not much better than a needle in a haystack.”

Recology did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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