Garbage collector finds honesty pays


June 06, 1993|By Aglaia Pikounis | Aglaia Pikounis,Staff Writer

Information in the Carroll section of The Sunday Sun about a reward for a man who returned a lost income tax refund check was in error. His employer, Waste Management Inc., has offered to match any reward he may receive for returning the check.

The Sun regrets the error.

Trash collectors find a lot of different things in the trash -- sometimes even valuables. But they rarely find large amounts of money or uncashed checks.

So when an employee of Waste Management Inc. found a four-figure check in the trash on May 24, he was surprised. But he didn't hesitate to return it to its owner.


Mike Curry, a resident of Cockeysville, remembers that while he was on his route at the Fairway on the Green housing complex in Westminster, he noticed an envelope in the trash.

When he opened it and found an uncashed federal income tax refund check, he immediately took it to the woman whose address was written on the check and said, "I don't think you wanted to throw this out."

"The woman couldn't believe that I found the check in the trash. She said she didn't know how it got there," Mr. Curry said.

The check was addressed to Mark and Cheryl Held. Mrs. Held said they had never seen the check, had never received it in the mail. She said they had been waiting for its arrival.

"When he came to my door, I was completely dumbfounded," she said.

Mr. Curry said his co-workers occasionally find valuable items deliberately thrown out, such as television sets or radios, but he has never heard of a large sum of money or check.

Dottie Mansfield, community relations representative at Waste Management, said that after the incident occurred, Mrs. Held called to commend Mr. Curry and express her appreciation.

"Mrs. Held was very impressed by him," said Ms. Mansfield, who described Mr. Curry as a young, dedicated and hard-working employee.

As a result of his honesty, Mr. Curry will be honored at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Westminster city pool by Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown. He will receive a letter of recognition from the mayor, and Waste Management will give him a check in the same amount as the refund he recovered. Ms. Mansfield said that even though such incidents are rare, Waste Management wants to let its employees know that honesty pays.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.