Social Question

riosan's avatar

How much jewelry and money get's thrown away in disposable vacuum bags and sent to land fills?

Asked by riosan (43points) June 12th, 2010

I was discussing with someone on this site the risks associated with buying a used vacuum cleaner and he said “maybe I’ll find money in the bag”.. and so then I wondered….

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9 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

You’d be very disappointed if you got a vacuum cleaner bag from my house. We havea wood burning stove and burn our full used bags. Rarely do I find anything metallic in the ash pile when I clean the stove.
If I were to donate a vacuum, I’d put in a clean bag as a courtesy.

riosan's avatar

you are a rare gem :)

Most people who donate goods to goodwill, habitat…etc also donate all of their trash with them. It’s all or nothing for those people I suppose.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I like Goodwill and like the people that shop there as I do.
Our GW is support for ABVI. They hire blind and visually impaired to work as cashiers. It is fantastic and an example of how things should be done.

Do you donate clothes that are dirty? I didn’t think so. Neither do I. They are spotless. From what I can see, everyone else donates only clean clothes too. I never see dirty items on the hangers. Maybe it’s different elsewhere but it is true in my community.

Nullo's avatar

When I worked at a car wash, I was one of the guys tasked with emptying the vacuum tank at week’s end. We would always comb through the gunk (car washes are dirty places, what’s a little more grime?) but rarely ever found more than 75 cents or so. $40 per year on average.
I’d say that the household vacuum pulls in far less than that, if only for not being used as extensively.

anartist's avatar

Not enough for anyone to make a living picking through trash for. Even for homeowners who have sucked up a bit of metal and noted the clatter, unless something like a diamond ring is known to be lost, how many would want to pick through all that mess for the usual find of a couple of dimes. pennies, paperclips, and thumbtacks?

riosan's avatar

I wasn’t meaning for profit… I just meant, are there lost rings and earrings swept up every year and thrown away. If so, how many ?

I work for several non profits so I see what comes in before it get’s sorted. Sometimes it’s not pretty, BUT it’s really the thought that counts. People are TRYING to do something good, and that is to be commended. I wasn’t meaning anything bad about donors. I am one !

That being said, I’ve heard stories of very valuable antiques and sometimes envelopes FULL of money being brought in on accident from estate sales. shrug

anartist's avatar

Stuff happens like that. I got rid of a bunch of books for $75 and then remembered I had left an envelope with $75 in one of the books. C’est la vie.

And yes, I have found amber and pearls and amethyst in silver in thrift shops for fifty cents or a buck and an original 1920s book full of Maxfield Parrish illustrations for a quarter and an antique brass bed for $25, or a purse with even more interesting art deco items overlooked inside, among other things. During thrift treasure trolling, one looks for fallibility of the appraiser, betting one’s eye is better than theirs.

Yard sales can be even more interesting, especially in the better neighborhoods. Sometimes things of extreme value are sold for peanuts because the owner does not want to be reminded of the giver.

augustlan's avatar

I’m certain I’ve vacuumed up at least a few earrings in my day. They weren’t anything valuable, though. Probably some pennies, too.

Since I now have a bag-less vacuum, it’s much easier to get at things I didn’t mean to suck up before I throw them away.

lilikoi's avatar

“How much jewelry and money get’s thrown away in disposable vacuum bags and sent to land fills?”

Not enough to warrant digging through landfills searching for them…

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