The city plans to reuse instead of recycle.

It would seem that a perk to being a trash collector or otherwise employed in sanitation is the opportunity to find cool stuff among the refuse. Treasures can pop up in the strangest places, such as 10 million yen (US$74,000) that was found among the garbage at a collection facility in Sapporo.

On 30 January, a worker was separating recyclable paper from the rest of the burnable trash that had been collected from Nishi Ward and Teine Ward. It was there that they found the ultimate in recyclable paper and reported it to the city.

▼ Japanese banknotes are among the few made from actual paper rather than cotton fibers or polymer, so they probably could be recycled.

As is the law in Japan, a three-month period started from that day for the original owner to come forward and claim the money. During that time there were 16 attempts to do so with claims from people saying they accidentally dropped 10 million yen wrapped in newspaper or that a family member suffering from dementia may have accidentally thrown it away.

However, in each case, the claimants were unable to accurately describe the money or condition it was found in. So, on 30 April ownership was given to Sapporo City. Readers of the news, however, feel that the worker who found the cash was due at least a cut of it.

“Nothing for the person who found it? They should have just pocketed it.”
“I’m not saying give the person all of it, but at least a reward for being honest about it.”
“I think it’s better just to return it to the Bank of Japan to be disposed of. It feels strange for anyone to profit from it.”
“It’s scary to imagine why someone would throw away that much money.”
“Hmmm, Sapporo is a six-hour drive from my parents’ home… I wonder if it’s mine.”
“It’s funny how all the liars came out to take a shot at it.”
“The real owner might have known but kept quiet. It’d leave them open to a nasty audit to determine where the 10 million came from.”
“When you think about it, letting the worker have the money is a great incentive for them to do a thorough job.”

Although no reward for the worker was reported, it’s possible they were rewarded in some from. A Sapporo city official told media that they had no plans for the money as of yet. but it serves as a cautionary tale for all of us to sort our trash. Not only because it’s our civic duty, but because you never know when something of value might have accidentally gotten mixed in.

Source: STV News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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