Micah Speir, a Seattle garbagemen, saved the day for a local elementary school and he is also being hailed a hero after he returned a bag containing around $12,000 in checks after discovering it on his route. As reported by KOMO News, the Waste Management employee was picking up scattered trash next to some bins when he found a number of checks made out to Lawson Elementary School.
“I noticed there was scattered trash and that’s what I was going to pick up,” Speir told the news outlet. “And lo and behold it was something more than scattered trash.”
For four years, Micah Speir has been driving a garbage truck and while some may see it as a dirty job, Speir says he enjoys his job.
“I’m not at a desk. It might get repetitive sometimes, but you’ve always got to pay attention to everything around you. Cars, bikes, pedestrians,” Speir said to the local television station.
Speir’s attention to detail is primarily the reason why he discovered something that did not belong in the trashcan — checks worth nearly $12,000. The story has gone viral in the media this week, and he is receiving praise for his integrity.
According to ABC News, a slip inside the bag said the checks were for a recent fundraiser held at the school by it’s Parent Teacher Association. The money was the result of a fundraising effort and would partly go to school supplies and art programs. The checks had been lost by mistake, and apparently a Parent-Teacher Association member accidentally dropped the bag along the garbage truck’s route.
After realizing the origin of the checks, Speir says he immediately tried to get in contact with the school. The school arranged to meet up and Micah met with Principal Dorian Manza while he was on his trash route. The principal was very appreciative and reportedly took out his wallet and offered to personally pay him back for returning the money. However, Micah refused to accept the money, saying he only wanted to do the right thing.
“It was kind of a little bit of a panic, and a frenzy – ‘Oh gosh, how many checks did we [lose],'” Manza said. “I told him, ‘I know you have a tough job, you went above and beyond. I tried to give him a tip with my own money but he said, ‘No sir, I can’t do that. I won’t do that.'”
Despite the opinions of some, Speir does not think he’s a hero.
“It felt really good, but at the same time I was just making sure I did the right thing–getting their funds back to them,” Speir said.
This story of an honest garbageman brings to mind a similar story that occurred last year when Dennis Crouch, a garbage collector for the city of Moline, Illinois, found an envelope lying on the ground while driving down an alley on his route. Crouch was shocked to learn it was $2,000 in the envelope. Crouch drove around the block looking for the owner, but no one was around. A report from AOL says that Crouch did the honest thing and took the money to his supervisor, who then reported the found money to the police.
[Image via Paolo Bona/Shutterstock]