Waste depot staff at Heathfield tip saved the day for me

Today I had an un-believable experience.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 4:47 pm

I lost my car keys in the green waste bin at the tip in Heathfield (privately owned I discovered) and they not only found them, but delivered them back to me at my home! And they gave me tea while I waited.

Kind, helpful and praiseworthy people who deserve a mention and saved me £300 - the cost of a replacement key.

I went to Heathfield re-cycling household waste centre and having emptied my green waste in the “bin” I went back to my car and patting my pockets realised I didn’t have my car key.

Panic. Despite looking up and down all the ramps and carefully re-tracing my steps - no keys found and car locked.

A lorry had been waiting to take the bin I was using to the depot.

I was the last to use that bin and a bit slow un-doing my black bags but they were patient.

The lorry was just leaving the recycling area when the assistant (sorry don’t recall his name) told the manager Vanessa about my missing keys.

Vanessa stopped the lorry leaving for my benefit.

The lorry returned and parked up in an empty bay.

Dave, the driver, attempted to look for my keys. I was really surprised at how helpful and thoughtful everyone was.

He didn’t find the keys but assured me they would check again at the depot. He was so determined to be helpful.

Dave mentioned a similar thing had happened locally and that it might be on local TV - that someone’s keys had been found.

Personally I thought it unlikely a single key could be found in a big skip of green waste, and still didn’t really believe my keys had even got into the bin in the first place.

What to do?

Vanessa offered to call the AA for me and lent me her mobile for a long call to the AA discussing relay assistance and a new key. The cost of the new key was priced at £350 if it was VW, or £300 if a substitute the AA could provide. I was shocked at this expense.

While I waited for the AA relay, Vanessa and her assistant could not have been nicer to me. I never felt like I was an inconvenience to them. I sat in their portacabin office and was offered tea.

Vanessa explained that her parents used to run the tip but when her father passed she took over. It seemed like a tribute to his memory to run it so well and with humanity.

Eventually the AA relay came and while he was getting my car on the ramp a call came in.

Amazingly Dave the lorry driver had found my key at the waste depot !! It was in Hastings. I wouldn’t need to pay the £300.

The AA relayed my car home. Before leaving the tip Vanessa asked for my address in Horam and said she would bring the keys to me at my address. I was expecting to collect them from the tip - not to get home delivery!

Sure enough they were delivered by the assistant soon after.

Michèle-Anne Dauppe