Wake up, America -- you’re throwing away money and it’s beginning to add up. A waste recycler estimates that $62 million USD in coins is lost each year when coins end up in the trash. It could be tip money inadvertently swept off restaurant tables, coins mixed with junk in your pocket, or money accidentally sucked up by a overzealous vacuum while cleaning a couch or a car.
“We find a whole range of coins from the penny to dollar and half-dollar coins,” said Covanta Holding Corp. spokesman James Regan. He said the company bases its $62 million USD estimate on finding 25 cents in each ton of waste, multiplied by the 250 million tons sent to the landfill each year.
A penny for your thoughts:
- Covanta sorts out metals from trash, and everything from coins to iron is extracted from its recovery efforts at 45 waste-to-power plants around the world.
- In 2014, the Transportation Security Administration found $675,000 USD left by airline passengers. If no one claims the money, the TSA is permitted to use it to help pay for its security operations.
- Finding a penny is usually considered to be good luck. If the penny is found heads up, some say, it brings good luck. Heads down brings bad luck. If the finder gives it to a friend, he passes the luck on.