Most people use bin hire as a way of disposing of rubble from construction or waste from a house clear-out. However, people around the world have found some pretty strange things in skip bins. Here are a few of the most curious examples.
16 fancy pigeons
In 2012, a skip outside a restaurant in Miami, Florida was found to contain a shipping box holding 16 pigeons. Not only were these pigeons in an unusual place, they weren't just any pigeons: they were racing pigeons worth thousands of US dollars. The story does have a happy ending: a local man rescued the birds from curious cats and gave the 13 survivors a home.
An entire caravan
A Welsh waste disposal firm reported in 2015 that they had been surprised to discover that one of their customers had parked an entire caravan precariously on top of the skip he had hired from them. While the creativity is impressive, it goes without saying that you can't do that; the customer had to dismantle the vehicle and put the parts inside the skip rather than on top of it.
Two coffins -- fortunately empty -- turned up in a skip in Scotland in 2013. The coffins had been incorrectly placed in the skip by a local council employee, which raises the unsettling question of where they were supposed to be put.
A wad of cash
People find money in discarded items surprisingly often, usually when absent-minded people store cash in unusual places and their family throw it out. For example, a sanitation worker in Ireland found a roll containing 1500 Euros in a shoe in 2015. Fortunately, the company was able to identify the source, an older lady who had hidden her money in various places around her home only to have it unwittingly thrown away by her family. Although the story has a happy ending, it's a useful reminder to be sure you've checked drawers, pockets and even shoes before you bin them.
World War I letters
Fascinating personal letters that revealed the experience of a British soldier during the First World War were retrieved by chance from a skip in north-eastern England in 2013. Haunting and deeply personal, they tell the story of a young man's life from 1912 to 1917. How the letters were discarded isn't known, but the fortuitous discovery became part of a local school's history project.
These discoveries range from fascinating to grisly, but they're also a useful reminder: tempting as it may be, you can't put just anything in a skip. Talk to a bin hire company about the kinds of waste they're willing to accept. Be warned: they probably don't take pigeons.