At AMA Skip Hire we have seen our fair share of weird waste, and so decided to scour the web for this blog post to bring you just some of the strangest items ever to be found in skips.
A Mystery Coffin:
When residents of Old Palace Road in Norwich awoke one morning in April 2007, it was a day like any other. When the time came to leave the house for work and school, however, the shocked homeowners were met by the peculiar sight of a coffin poking out the top of a skip on their street.
Presumably cautious and confused, the residents called the police who thankfully confirmed that the coffin was empty. The mystery remains (no pun intended) of how the coffin had got there, why somebody would abandon it and what had happened to its owner.
Modern Art Heist:
In 2011 five works of modern art, collectively estimated to be worth over Â£100million, were tossed into a skip in Paris and destroyed. The paintings were alleged to have been stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art by a crack team of art thieves who, when caught, claimed that they had destroyed and disposed of the masterpieces in an effort to escape.
Unfortunately, at AMA we've yet to find a Matisse or Picasso in one of our skips, but we're always on the lookout. One would definitely have pride of place hanging in our office.
WW2 Artillery Shell:
To the horror of the two skip drivers who discovered it, one of the most unusual items ever found was a World War Two naval artillery shell discarded in a skip in Cornwall in 2006.
When the Royal Navy's bomb disposal squad arrived on-scene the shell was found to be still live and, even more worryingly, mere metres from a large petrol station. The squad worked quickly to remove the bomb, which was disarmed and later destroyed in a nearby quarry. Had the bomb been detonated accidentally, the experts insisted, it would have sent potentially deadly shrapnel flying for thousands of metres around.
Who knows what could have been if not for these keen-eyed skip drivers. A lesson perhaps for anyone looking to go digging through skips, always be careful â€“ you never know what people might be throwing away!
Valuable Vintage Posters:
Continuing with the WW2 theme, one lucky man from Newcastle managed to find a bundle of original American propaganda posters whilst walking the streets of New York. Originally distributed to businesses by the US authorities to help boost wartime morale, the posters were never actually displayed and eventually found their way into a skip on a busy sidewalk.
Luckily, eagle-eyed Steve spotted the posters whilst on a business trip to The States and fetched them home. It was only several years later, after they had been stored and forgotten about in his attic, that the posters were put on sale, at which point they were valued at over Â£4000 â€“ not bad for something pulled out of a skip!
Skip Diving For Treasure:
Like modern-day Wombles, an army of so-called 'skip divers' are busy sorting through skips across the UK, making good use of the things that everyday folk leave behind, and making a tidy profit it from it too!
Although maybe not as jaw-droppingly bizarre as old bombs and priceless paintings, it is simply astonishing what people throw away in today's wasteful society. A quick search online reveals thousands of people who have managed to furnish whole houses with just the things they have pulled from skips, from cupboards to chairs, family computers and even the odd kitchen sink!
Whilst we obviously commend the use of skips to clear away your waste, far too many people seem to forget the central part of 'reduce reuse recycle'. Often many of the things that we throw away could be reused, either by passing it on to friends and relatives or by donating it to charity. So when you start your spring cleaning, spare a thought for what could be reused, rather than just disposed of.