The collection of valuable old books by the famous writer PG Wodehouse was saved from a tip. Employees at the recycling center noticed the removal of books even before they were sent to the landfill.

A local expert believes that just one of the books could be worth £200. The collector explained that this collection was an extraordinary find and that books in their original packaging are rare.

The garbage worker, who is an avid reader, knew they were something special when he found them at the Five Lanes Household Recycling Center (HRC) near Caldicot. The team then contacted a book collector in Tintern.

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PG Wodehouse was an English writer and one of the most popular humorists of the 20th century. Among his books were the famous people Bertie Worcester and his valet Jeeves.

Chris Williams, leader of HRC’s Five Lanes Group, said, “These books have been a great find. It’s good to know they were saved and that someone appreciates them.

“Every week you have something new and you never know what you’re going to get. In addition to antiques and collectibles, we also have many useful everyday items that our customers love.”

This isn’t the first time something valuable has been stolen from recycling centers. A rare antique Mickey Mouse rag toy was rescued from the landfill in early 2022 thanks to thoughtful colleagues.

Originally made in one of Britain’s oldest teddy bear manufacturers in Pontypool, the toy was later donated to the Pontypool Museum to take its rightful place less than a mile from the former factory where it was manufactured many years ago.

Adviser Kathryn Mabey, responsible for climate change and the environment, said: “Our reuse stores have been open for some time and we continue to be amazed at the unique and rare things that turn up. It’s great to know that these special books have been saved from tips and that someone will be able to enjoy them for years to come.”

Roger Seeley, Operations Manager at SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, said: “This is another fantastic example of repurposing items destined for recycling. Thanks to our dedicated team and their great curiosity, we were able to save this extraordinary collection of classic books.

“We are constantly monitoring recycle bins and urging site users to return items, but we encourage everyone to speak to one of our colleagues on the site if they are unsure if something is reusable. Even if you think not. Whatever it is, there’s a chance someone else will take advantage of it and help reduce our impact on the environment.”

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