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Finds in the GARBAGE!

Article about: There is a thread about a member restoring US canteen. Taking dents outs. just look for it or a member will chim in about it.

  1. #1

    Default Finds in the GARBAGE!

    Hello all!

    During the school year I am a high school history teacher. During the summer I am the manager of my family business.

    My family owns a "C&D Processing Facility and Transfer Station." What this means is that we have a facility where junk removal companies, construction companies, etc. and even the general public bring us "clutter" they remove from attics, basements, garages, construction sites, etc. We even rent out large dumpsters that people fill with things they don't want anymore. We process and sort the material and then send it out for recycling.

    Often, family members would rather throw out a loved one's belongings instead of sorting through it and bringing up sad memories. As you can imagine, we have come across some very valuable things. In addition, people can be very ignorant of the value/ historical relevance of things. Although I have yet to see it, I am sure there are people out there have seen a German helmet w Swastika decal... and they freak and would throw it out.

    We always try to return lost items to their rightful owners, but often people do not care and do not want to be bothered by it...

    We have found... puppies and kittens, wads of money hidden in mattresses and couches, jewlery, locked safes filled with stamp and coin collections, weapons, crates filled with unopened bottles of scotch from the 1940-60s...

    "Big Box Stores" often bring us dumpsters FILLED with brand new items that went on clearance but never sold (lawn mowers, chain saws, snow blowers, clothing, etc.)... I guess it costs less for them to throw it out rather than reprocess it and send it back to their warehouses or manufacturer.

    Of course we OFTEN come across weird and private things like "adult toys" and naughty pictures of wives, girlfriends, etc.

    (Side Note: PLEASE properly dispose of/ SHRED banking documents, personal documents, and things like naughty pictures of you/ your loved ones... just because you put it into the garbage can does not mean it's gone forever. My family are good people, but I'm sure there are TONS of bad guys out there that could take advantage of your misfortune.)

    From time to time we also find militaria! In the past I found an M1 Carbine, WW2 era USMC webbing, vietnam era M1 helmet, and of course numerous photo albums.

    Unfortunately, our workers use heavy equipment and often valuables are spotted too late...

    ANYWAY! I thought I'd share finds from the garbage when they come in. Militaria doesn't come in every day, but I'll be sure to post pictures and descriptons when they do.

    Yesterday, a West Point cadet's hat came in. Unfortunately it was crushed by a machine before my cousin was able to find it. The metal badge on the front is a little bent, but is in good shape otherwise. The two metal studs on either side of the hat are also in good shape. I'm sorry the pictures do not show this, but the back of the hat is pretty shredded up. Inside the hat there is a paper tag with the cadet's name, his unit at West Point and his graduation year (1976). I found a website with an e-mail listing for the cadet (who is now at least 60yrs old) and I sent him an e-mail to try to get him his hat back.

    I'll be sure to post more militaria as it comes in. Thanks for looking!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    Great Job ! ....
    "Skip diving" as we call it in the Uk has produced some really great items ..

    And of course being a member of the forum, you have a great place to offload any items you don't want to keep .... !!!!!
    There's ALWAYS a market for militaria !!!

    Keep us all posted on ANYTHING unusual that turns up !!


    Gary J.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    Keep us posted

  4. #4

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    Quote by Gary J View Post
    Keep us all posted on ANYTHING unusual that turns up !!


    Gary J.
    I'll be sure to keep everyone posted!

    Does anyone think West Point cadet hat is salvageable?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    This is our facility, by the way...

    This is what the garbage looks like when it comes in:

    and this is how we pick through it:

  6. #6

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    it looks like hard work.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    It certainly is hard work... but can be a lot of fun, too!

    Unfortunately I work in the office now-a-days and don't get my hands dirty anymore.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!


    The West Point alum got back to me via e-mail and even called me! He was very happy that I found his old hat. He said he had two caps from his time at West Point... he kept one for himself after graduation and gave the other to his father as a keep-sake. His father recently passed away, and his sister was in charge of cleaning out their fathers house. She found the hat and thought it was no good so she tossed it into the garbage. He thought the cap was lost forever.

    He said he was very happy that there are people in the world who still know how to do the right thing.

    He is coming back to the area in September for a West Point reunion (I live across the Hudson River from West Point). We're going to meet up for a cup of coffee and a chat, and I'll return his hat to him.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!

    My buddy's family owns a large collection service that covers small towns an local rural area.

    I always joke that I would never be able to run a route as I would waste too much time going through the stuff.
    Lots of old folks and veterans here.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Finds in the GARBAGE!



    trace of a 2nd decal?

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