Passports, wallets and watches top the list of things mistakenly discarded with trash in the United Arab Emirates, a leading junk removal company has revealed.
Faisal Khan, CEO and founder of Take My Junk, said he even returned a pet cat to its owner. “Our staff member was driving home with a truckload of unwanted items when he got the call. It was from the man who hired our service. He asked about the missing cat. was
“The removal team stopped the pickup and inspected the discarded items. Sure enough, the cat was there. I let it go,” Khan recalled. “I found a pet rabbit in a similar situation.”
On another occasion, Khan said, a junk truck had to make a U-turn to return a refrigerator that a maid had mistakenly handed out. “The homeowner had left instructions on what to throw away. The maid thought the items included the refrigerator.”
Khan said he routinely sees passports, wallets, watches, car keys and TV remotes tucked between sofa cushions. “All items have been duly returned,” he said.
Canadian expats started free service in 2009 with just one pickup. Now he has his 35th. During that time, they visit about 200 homes and offices every day and carry 1,000 tons of waste each month.
A kayak, a kennel and a Red London phone box are among the many rare items recently warehoused.
The goods are stored for about a month before being reused or recycled and resold at the company’s Bu Faisal recycling store in Ajman.
“Almost nothing is wasted,” Khan said. “We have given new life to furniture and household items, while reducing landfill waste by providing people with cheaper alternatives.”
One of Khan’s biggest concerns is the proliferation of imitative junk removal companies charging between AED 200 and AED 400 per visit.
“Our service is completely free, so if a company asks for money, be forewarned. It’s not us.”
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