Americans Throw Away Up to $68 Million in Coins a Year

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At a waste-management facility in Morrisville, Pa., workers load incinerated trash into industrial machinery that separates and sorts metals, then sends them to get hosed down. The reward: buckets of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

Americans toss as much as $68 million worth of change each year, according to Reworld. The sustainable-waste processing company is on a treasure-hunt to find it. The company says that in the seven years since it started the effort, it has collected at least $10 million worth of coins.
On a recent Monday, a bucket loader lifted trash from its waste facilities into various sorting machines. A rattling gray one separated out anything that was the color of a coin. Another one separated anything round and flat, like a coin. And another machine separated heavier metals like coins from lighter metals like aluminum.

It took 35 minutes to clean what the machines spat out. Then, squeaky clean coins were spread out on an iron rack to dry. They were still mixed in with euro cents, coins from Kuwait and D.C. metro tokens.

In a trailer, human checkers wearing gloves sorted through buckets of this material, separating the good coins from everything else.

Because the trash was incinerated before it reached the facility, some coins were mangled beyond recognition. Of the $10 million in coins the company has recovered, some $6 million has been in good enough condition to use.

Reworld gathers anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million in coins a year, which it turns over to a third party to count and deposit to local banks.


I wonder how much 90% silver they find - or if they even know to look for it!
Not me. I recently was cleaning out my basement and consolidated all the coins I have been hoarding over the years. There has to be at least 800 pounds. I keep the pennies by themselves, but throw all the nickels, dimes, and quarters in with each other. No idea what I will ever do with them.
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