One Reddit user thought it was their lucky day when they came across a dumpster full of unused electrical fittings. When it happened twice, they could not quite believe it.
Then it happened again. “They say lightning won’t strike twice in the same place … I beg to differ,” the user commented.
From the first haul, the Redditor estimated they found $10,000 worth of value from the items that would have gone to a landfill or recycling center. When they found the second lot, that estimate went up to $22,000 total in retail value.
Although the comments on the original post had speculation about possible shady activity leading to the fittings being in the dumpster in the first place, the original poster followed up with what they said is the story behind the discarded items, according to an employee:
“It came from an electrical distributor in my area that is no longer doing business with that vendor. Since they are moving … they are dumping what they’ve got left of their old brand of fittings. Their store doesn’t have enough shelf space to sell both brands, and liquidating their old stuff at a reduced price is against their contract with the old vendor.”
“I’m not a thief,” added the Redditor. “Just a very lucky dumpster diver.”
While the find was a welcome discovery for one person, it’s also a reminder about the value of items that often end up in the garbage. Assuming this electrical supplies distributor did trash the fittings, they essentially put tens of thousands of dollars in the trash, which not only wastes the final product but also wastes the energy, parts, and materials used to make it.
Even if it went to a recycling center, it would still cost money and expend energy to strip the parts, sort them, process them, and melt them. If the items are still in working order, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to break them back down to their raw materials when they could still be useful.
“Any local electrician would probably buy those off of you,” one Redditor replied.
“The Magical Dumpster God Provides!” added another.
Recycling waste instead of sending it to a landfill is just one way to limit pollution and conserve natural materials.
According to Friends of the Earth, producing new aluminum from old products requires 95% less energy than starting from the beginning. For steel, it’s 70% less energy intensive. That means less carbon pollution is released in the production of these recycled materials compared to when it’s made from scratch, which is crucial in efforts to stop rising global temperatures.
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