Two recycling centre workers pulled £20,000 of life savings out of a dump after they were accidentally thrown away by an elderly woman’s family.
The cash was stashed away inside five Bisto gravy tins, which were discarded when the 85-year-old’s home was being cleared out.
When the penny dropped, the family frantically rushed back to the dump in Renton, West Dunbartonshire.
Determined workers Kenny McAdam and Tony Scanlon then spent two hours scouring the rubbish before it made its way to landfill.
Kenny said: ‘They were clearing out their mother’s house when they found the tins.
‘They were among dishes, pots and pans. Their mum had hidden her life savings on top of the kitchen cupboards in these gravy tins and they didn’t realise what was in them.
‘They came back in to say they had been in earlier and this is what they had dumped.’
Tony said he remembered the bags because of the way the unnamed daughter was handling the heavy items.
They had been pushed to the back of one of the skips, which the pair painstakingly searched while members of the public continued to dump their rubbish in there.
The first Bisto tin was found after about two hours while the remaining four were found close together 20 minutes later.
The family stood and watched and afterwards the daughter burst into tears and told the council workers: ‘You’ve just saved my life.’
Tony said the family were lucky because one of their compactors was broken and the rubbish could have been sent to landfill much earlier.
He added that the family only realised their mistake when their elderly mum returned home and asked her children what had happened to her kitchen.
He continued: ‘I don’t think the mum knew the kind of cash that was in them either.
‘But we managed to get the five of them back.
‘We’re just delighted for them to get their money back.’
It isn’t the first time the pair have come to the aid of stricken customers having rescued wedding dresses as well as various car keys and wedding rings from skips.
A West Dunbartonshire Council spokeswoman said: ‘Kenny and Tony went above and beyond their duty to ensure that these residents were reunited with their property.
‘We’re really proud of them.’