Riverhead Man Loses $3,000 in Garbage -- but Gets it Back

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010  |  Updated 5:01 PM EDT
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Riverhead Man Loses $3,000 in Garbage -- but Gets it Back

Riverhead Local

Matthew Freudenberg stands by Maggio truck.

Talk about stinkin' rich.

A Suffolk County man lost $3,000 in the garbage -- but was able to find it after digging through a heap of trash.

Matthew Freudenberg, 56, a Riverhead nurse, placed $3,000 in a small brown paper bag, and while distracted mistakenly
placed the bag in the garbage. By the time he realized his error, a sanitation truck had already collected the garbage, along with the bag of money.

Freudenberg later called Maggio Sanitation, which picked up the garbage.

"When I called, at first they said they didn't know if I could go look through the garbage there, because it was against regulations," Freudenberg told Riverhead Local.

But a Maggio Sanitation secretary got back to Freudenberg, inviting him to their Yaphank facility where the garbage truck was.

"When I saw the amount of garbage there, I thought there was no way we were ever going to find it," Freudenberg recalled.

Maggio employees joined Freudenberg in sifting through the garbage in search of the bag, and sure enough, sanit man Rafael Varela, spotted the bag.

"It was just unbelievable," said Freudenberg, "He could have easily put his foot on it and hid it from me and kept it," Freudenberg said.

"I like to help people," said Varela.

"The honesty… the integrity… It's just so nice to see," Freudenberg told Riverhead Local.

John Maggio, Company Principal, stated that they have recovered valuables for people in the past, including money, "But never this much in one lump sum."

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