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Passerby in disbelief after finding Nintendo Entertainment System at e-waste dumpster: 'One man's trash is another man's treasure'

"Awesome find."

"Awesome find."

Photo Credit: iStock

A lucky passerby who was in the right place at the right time discovered a Nintendo Entertainment System complete with four controllers and a handful of games, including Super Mario 3 and Barbie, at a local e-waste dumpster.

They shared pictures of their discovery as proof to skeptical Reddit users in the subreddit r/gamecollecting.

Photo Credit: Reddit

While some users expressed their disbelief in response, others shared their own miraculous discoveries at e-waste dumpsters and recycling facilities.

"I believe you," wrote one user. "I've been getting game stuff for 9 years in the same way."

"This is actually pretty reasonable. I've had friends that work at e-waste facilities that find tons of crazy stuff," said another.

Finds like these are especially lucky considering most e-waste is sent straight to landfills. According to the Geneva Environment Network, only 17.4% of the 57.4 million tons of e-waste produced globally every year is recorded as being properly collected, treated, and recycled.

E-waste that isn't recycled properly is hazardous to the environment and human health, with as many as 1,000 toxic chemicals, including lead and mercury, being released from untreated e-waste. These chemicals then leach into the water, air, soil, and plants, contaminating ecosystems.

The World Health Organization stated that pollution from e-waste has been linked to higher rates of neurodevelopmental issues in children and stillbirth and premature birth in pregnant people, along with reduced lung capacity and respiratory function. 

In the United States, it is illegal in some states to throw unwanted electronics in the trash, per RecycleNation. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy and sometimes lucrative options for electronic disposal. Local e-waste recycling plants are always a quick and easy option, or you can trade your old devices at companies like Amazon and Best Buy for gift cards and store credit.

Selling or donating electronic devices with more life left in them to thrift stores is another way to prevent unnecessary waste from entering landfills. 

Whether you're looking for games or other items, thrifting can often lead to amazing discoveries, including gold necklaces and high-tech Ember mugs. In addition to rare and valuable items, thrift shops are great places to save big on everyday items while also saving them from going to landfills, a win-win for you and the planet. 

Secondhand shopping is a growing trend, as Capital One Shopping reported that thrifters bought 1.4 billion apparel items in the U.S. in 2022, up 40% from 2021.

Plus, you might just make someone's day by giving away unwanted items.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure," aptly wrote on the original post. "Awesome find and have fun."

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