Kirsty Williams receives the returned cash from Andrew Johnson.
Kirsty Williams, of Snells Beach, was last week reunited with $700 that belonged to her mother, who recently passed away. It was all thanks to the honesty and efforts of a Mahurangi Wastebusters employee.
Andrew Johnson was about to empty a box of paper products for recycling at the transfer station on Lawrie Road when he noticed the glint of a $50 note in a birthday card.
Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be much more.
Andrew immediately collected the cash and brought it to his supervisor to report what he had found.
Wastebusters staff found themselves taking on the role of detectives, searching through the collection box for any evidence that might help to reunite the cash with its rightful owner.
The birthday card provided a clue with a first name, and after a careful search a bill was found with a last name and an address.
This information was passed on to Warkworth Police Sergeant Mark Stallworthy.
Sgt Stallworthy visited the address, but found it unoccupied and half empty.
However, a search of the police database revealed a phone number contact for the household, which turned out to be Kirsty.
Kirsty wasn’t sure what to expect when she received a message from the Warkworth Sergeant, but was overwhelmed when she learned of the cash.
She said it was particularly sentimental because the birthday card from 2012 revealed that it had been a gift from her late father to her mother.
“They always got each other gifts, even in their later years. This was probably for jewellery,” she said.
“We knew that Dad believed in keeping cash around, and we had gone through the boxes and thought it was all accounted for.”
Kirsty said the family would set aside the recovered money and spend it on something special.
She tried to offer Andrew a reward, but he turned it down, saying it was enough to have managed to return the money.
Wastebusters supervisor Kath Callender said she was incredibly proud of Andrew.
“This is why we try to hire good staff. The aim is for Wastebusters to be a community facility, so it’s great to have been able to take care of one of our customers like this,” Kath said.
Sgt Stallworthy said it warmed his heart to see such honesty and integrity in the community.
He said he has also known people to come into the Warkworth station with small sums of cash found on the street.