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Over $100K Found in a Garbage Dump in Japan

The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” has never rung truer.
For illustrative purposes only. [L] Photo by Richard-G on Flickr (CC BY 2.0) [R] Photo by Emmet from Pexels

Collecting garbage is usually a ho-hum job but some days are exceptionally exciting, particularly when it leads to weird finds, such as Egyptian paintings and a WWII code-breaking machine.

Now in Japan, a worker finds himself in a unique situation after discovering 11.27 million yen ($102,500) in cash in their garbage disposal facility in Toyota City on the afternoon of February 12, The Tokyo Reporter reported.


According to the city government, the bills were mixed with wood scraps of a broken desk and were separated into 10 envelopes. There were 1,118 pieces of 10,000 yen bills, 15 pieces of 5,000 yen bills, and 15 pieces of 1,000 yen bills.

“In 20 years of doing this work, this is a first,” the unnamed employee of the city-operated Green Clean Fujinooka said.

The worker found the cash while segregating metal from the oversized garbage facility.

“After I saw a single 10,000 yen note, I found a whole envelope,” the employee told Fuji News Network. “Then I saw more wrapped bundles. I wondered if they were fakes.” He had doubts because one bundle was wrapped in an obi strip dated 2007, which was before the adoption of anti-counterfeiting technology.

But it turned out that they were, in fact, real. The garbage dump reported the incident to the Toyota Police and surrendered the cash to authorities.

Green Clean Fujinooka handles residential garbage including metal components like appliances and furniture, accepting roughly 110 pieces of non-combustible waste daily. The city government believes that the cash arrived at the facility sometime around February 10 and 11.

The owner of the money now has three months to get in touch with police to claim it.

Police are still figuring out how the money ended up in the garbage facility. While this is certainly a rare occurrence, there have actually been multiple instances of the elderly accidentally leaving behind cash or disposing of them by mistake. In 2016, an equivalent of $150 million lost cash was discovered around the country.

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