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The Ten Most Valuable Items Tossed In The Trash
10.  Ancient Mayan Artifacts
mayan artifacts
When an artist and his partner passed away in SoHo, a mover was paid $4,500 to collect what the families did not want.  Having hauled everything away to a warehouse in Queens, it was 5 years before he checked what was inside.  Inside the cardboard boxes and tubes were ancient Mayan artifacts, such as stone axes and carved figures, from 300 B.C. to 500 A.D.  The mover sold the pieces for $16,500.
9.  The Most Costly Laptop In The World
For a long time, Goldman Sachs trader, Fabrice Tourre, was the only one being blamed and brought to trial for creating and selling shoddy mortgage securities right before the major fallout.  A New Yorker found a laptop in the trash and gave it to their friend who was an artist.  Sure she could fashion it into a new piece, the artist had the laptop for four years before she started recognizing its owner’s name on the news.  The laptop was once Tourre’s personal computer and contained emails and messages implicating a larger group responsible for the mortgage fraud.  Tourre was only one of several people responsible.  When asked why she decided to turn over the laptop, the artist stated it was because she felt bad for Tourre being a 30 year old kid taking all the heat.
8.  Surprise Inheritance 
savings bonds
In Burlington, Kentucky during the year 1971, a barrel made its way to the Blue Grass Recycling Company.  A worker was shocked to find that two dozen Unites States savings bonds purchased by a Martha Dobbins was stuffed inside the barrel.  At the time, they amounted to around $22,000.  The worker searched for Martha’s rightful heir and discovered she had a living son.  He returned the savings bonds to the shocked son and refused to take any compensation for his trouble.  Talk about a stand up guy!
7.  How Sweet The Tune
pedrazzini violin
A Texas man found a violin in some trash on the side of the road and thought he could use it for parts to repair his wife’s old instrument.  His wife decided to get it appraised and was offered $1,000.  Suspecting it might be worth more, the man brought it to Antiques Roadshow and found out it was an original Giuseppe Pedrazzini violin.  The famous Italian violin maker crafted this particular piece in 1922.  It was valued at $35,000 but is said to be worth a cool $50,000 once it is restored.
6.  A $100,000 Tire
On Interstate 70 near Indianapolis, highway workers were cleaning up litter when they found a tire stuffed with $100,000 in $5 and $100 dollar bills.  They immediately turned it over to authorities who suspected that the money came from drug runners who were trying to smuggle it.
5.  Atomic Bomb Grade Plutonium
plutonium 239
Plutonium-239 is the specific type used to make atomic bombs similar to the ones that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII.  In a Washington state garbage dump, plutonium-239 was found inside a glass bottle.  The Department of Energy was astounded to hear it was discovered there and made sure to safely dispose of it as soon as possible.  While not enough to create a nuclear weapon, they stated that it was a decent quantity that a bomb maker could create devastation with.
4.  $1 Million Dollar Lotto Tickets
It hasn’t happened once but TWICE!  In both cases, someone threw a heap of scratch-offs into the trash thinking they were not winners.  A dumpster diver came along some time later and found that one of the scratch-offs was actually a $1 million dollar winner.  And, in both situations, the person who tossed it away sued the person who collected the money because it was originally their ticket.  Sorry, but once you toss something it becomes public domain – finder’s keepers!  The lesson here is to always triple check what you are about to throw in the trash.
3. Stolen Classic
tres personajes
A New York woman was walking by a trash pile and saw a beautiful painting measuring 38″ x 51″ peeking out from between the trash bags.  She took it home and adorned her apartment wall with it.  One day, while watching Antique’s Roadshow, she heard a description of the very painting she possessed.  Turns out it was the Rufino Tamayo painting “Tres Personajes” that was stolen 20 years prior and on file with the FBI.  Valued at over $1 million dollars, she returned it to its rightful owner and was awarded a finder’s fee of $15,000.  Fate was on the Tres’ side that day because the trash was collected less than 20 minutes after it was recovered by the woman.
2.  Freedom Tower Blueprints
Photo By The Huff Post
A homeless man was walking past a trashcan in lower Manhattan and spotted two sets of blueprints for Freedom Tower.  The blueprints were 150 pages each and detailed the layout of the new building that was to be placed on Ground Zero.  Knowing how dangerous it would be if these were to get into the wrong hands, he turned them over to authorities.  An architect who examined the documents stated that even though they were an early draft of the building, it could still give someone with experience in explosives and biological weapons enough information to cause chaos.
1.  Declaration of Independence
Purchased for $4 at a flea market in Pennsylvania, a local man liked the frame and wanted to take a crack at restoring it.  Proving unsalvageable, he decided it was best just to toss it in the garbage.  He took the painting out and noticed a folded up piece of paper trapped behind it.  That paper turned out to be one of the original 24 copies of the Declaration of Independence.  It was later sold for $2.42 million dollars.

When you need a dumpster for your own interesting finds, give the Burr Ridge Dumpster Rental Company a call!

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