Waste Management employees find $5,000 at work, donates money to local charities

Posted at 2:17 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 22:18:18-04

It is the kind of paper you do not want recycle: money.

Valley workers at a Waste Management facility in Surprise were sorting through the boxes and bottles when they found more than $5,000 on the conveyer belt. The staff was pretty shocked and the confused ruckus made it's way to the ears of District Manager Al Gallagher in his office nearby.

"I asked what was going on," Gallagher said. "And immediately they volunteered to tell me they found money!"

Instead of just passing it out among the workers there, they decided to do the right thing – turn it into police. That way, the person who lost it  could claim it again.

"It had 30-day public notice," Gallagher explained. "No one had claimed it, so it was due to be released to us."

So, Surprise Police passed back the cash to the employees; but, instead of spending it they decided to "recycle" it in their own way.

"Raising funds are one of the challenges most foundations have," explained Ken Johanson with the Surprise Youth Foundation. "Particularly, with the surprise from Waste Management...that's going to make a tremendous impact on our fundraiser.

That is right, Waste Management donated the money to the Rotary Club of Surprise.

Their goal is to fund local charities in our Valley, like the Surprise Youth Foundation and A New Leaf

"We are glad to know that there's other organizations, not just the small businesses - the large businesses too that want to make a difference in the community," said Rotary Club President Amanda Sanchez.

And for the staff at Waste Management, they are just glad they found a real way to help among all the plastic.

You can also help organizations involved with the Rotary Club on Saturday. The Taste of Surprise is their annual fundraising event. The initial donation from Waste Management has  made it so all five charities already have $1,000 a piece. But, the goal is to have all of them have $7,000 to $8,000.