An Oregon man who accidentally recycled a shoebox containing $23,000 of his life savings was reunited with his cash on Saturday after a worker at a recycling plant in Northern California found the box.
The man from Ashland, Oregon, realized he had made a big mistake when he accidentally placed the shoebox in a recycling bin on Thursday after the bin had been emptied into a truck bound for the Recology recycling facility in Humbolt County, California.
The man, who is unidentified, recently sold an RV and a truck and placed the money in a Vans shoebox with the intent to buy another RV.
The box traveled 200 miles from Ashland before it arrived at the Samoa, California, facility for sorting.
The facility’s general manager, Linda Wise, told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat that most of the recycled material had been sorted by the time the man called Recology to inquire about the box.
Workers were instructed to look out for the box while sorting through the recycled material, Wise said.
On Friday morning, a sharp-eyed employee named Nick Page found the box after he began pulling $20 bills along with cardboard off the assembly line.
“He calmly put it all together…and walked it to his boss, and said ‘Here’s the money that guy was looking for,'” Wise said. Once the man found out his money had been found, he was overjoyed.
“We take quite a bit of material every day so the odds of finding that are not much better than a needle in a haystack,” Wise said.
The unidentified man drove four hours on Saturday morning to retrieve his money, which stayed in the box mostly despite its tumultuous journey to the facility.