A lucky find in Fareham’s Christmas recycling

A lucky Fareham resident was reunited with his iPhone on Friday, after it was mistakenly dropped in the recycling bin and collected in a dustcart. A team of staff from Veolia Environmental Services dug through over 7 tonnes of recycling before finding the mobile phone.

Rob Wright, a local carpenter and joiner found out the phone was missing after his partner had put out the family’s recycling for collection on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, their bin is one of the first to be collection on the round, so it was already gone.  Rob called the council, who gave him a number for Veolia, to track down the truck.

All of Fareham’s recycling lorries go to the facilities in Copnor to empty and this is also where the waste is sorted and processed. Luckily, the vehicle was identified before it arrived, so it was tipped in a different area for hand sorting.  Normally, the recycling would be sorted by a combination of machinery and hand-picking – it’s unlikely Rob’s phone would have survived this.

At this time of year, just after Christmas, there is a big increase the amount sent for recycling, but the work of several staff resulted in the iPhone being eventually found amongst the recycling from the back of the truck - and it still worked!

Resident Rob Wright said: “I want to say a massive thank you to the guys who managed to find the phone.  They do such a great job and it was just incredible that they found it.  On the phone there are lots of photos that we wouldn’t have been able to replace.” 

Veolia’s recycling site manager, Darren Carling, said: “We’re glad we could help Rob out and reunite him with his phone.  Dealing with hundreds of tonnes of recycling each week means that normally, this sort of find just wouldn’t be possible.”