Instead of raiding your couch or piggy bank when you need a few extra dollars, consider looking in your trash. According to a recent report in Bloomberg, an estimated $61.8 million of loose change is accidentally thrown away every year in the U.S.
The estimate comes from Covanta Holding Corp., a recycling and waste management company that has found 25 cents per each ton of waste, with about 250 million tons of garbage sent to landfills each year. “The coins get swept off restaurant tables, mixed in with scraps when people empty their pockets, and vacuumed up from carpets or sofa cushions,” Bloomberg’s report found.
Using powerful magnets, Covanta’s business sorts out metals from trash at 45 waste-to-power plants in North America, China, and Europe. Covanta has developed a technique to separate coins from other burnt metal and at its Chester, PA plant alone, coins have added up to about $360,000 over the course of a year. Watch the video to see what happened when a woman threw out $5,000 in cash.