Friday, July 19, 2013

When a valuable item gets recycled by mistake

Earlier this year, a Montgomery County Customer Service Center representative took an urgent call: the caller's iPad had somehow ended up in the household's blue recycling bin. The recycling truck had been there about a half hour ago.

Within five minutes, we notified the field staffer in the caller's neighborhood and began researching in the office as well.

In order to have any hope of recovering the missing iPad, the truck had to be caught before it unloaded at our Recycling Center.  The race against time was on!

We identified the route on which the home was located, and from there, which truck serviced this route that day.

Whew! The truck was still out working. In the meanwhile, Recycling Center staff went on alert to divert the truck when it arrived.

Once at the Recycling Center, the truck unloaded in a separate area of the building, so that its material would not mix with that from other truck loads.

The caller had been waiting at the Recycling Center. Wearing safety gear, she began her search for the device.

Even when a truck's load can be isolated, success in finding a missing item can be elusive. By this time, the item has been well-mixed in with the other material in the load.

We hope that you never need this information. However, if you have something which ends up in your bin or can by mistake, we have detailed instructions on recovering a valuable item from the trash or recycling.

What was the outcome of this case? It had a happy ending!

--Susanne Wiggins

Resident and Recycling Center staff looking at iPad.


  1. Anonymous9:03 PM

    That's service plus!

  2. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Excellent Service.


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