WHEN pensioner Pat Blake accidentally posted her letters in a recycling bank, she thought they were gone for good.
But luckily for the 76-year-old, the company that owns the bin sprang to the rescue.
They sent Terry Breeze, a driver for the European Recycling Company, to open the bank and reunite Pat with her mail.
Pat, of Elizabeth Road, Stubbington, said: ‘I put the letter in my trolley so I wouldn’t forget it and it must have just stuck to the bottom of the bag and it disappeared down the hole.
‘I tried to snatch it back but I couldn’t hold on to it.’
Pat rang the council. She said: ‘I was amazed at how quickly it all happened. It was back within 24 hours.’
Mr Breeze, who has worked the route for more than a year, said it was one of the most unusual things he had found in the bank.
The 51-year-old, who collects the contents three times a week, said: ‘I had a phone call saying that a lady had dropped a letter in the bank, and I said “don’t worry I’ll come down now”.
‘Lucky enough it was just under one bag.’
Mr Breeze, from West Street, Havant, said it was not the first time he has had to retrieve items: ‘Clothes have been dropped in that people didn’t want to be dropped in, shoes, wallets, purses, car keys, all sorts, you name it, it’s happened.’
The textile recycling banks have been in operation for more than a year and a cut of the profits raised goes to charity, community projects and towards maintaining the rate of council tax.
Sue Hand, recycling co-ordinator at the council, said: ‘We collect an awful lot, which all gets either reused or recycled, whether it’s sheets, curtains or tablecloths, as well as just clothing. They are very successful partly due to Terry who’s brilliant, they’re kept in very good conditions and get emptied regularly so they don’t overflow.’
The textile recycling banks are at 29 places across Fareham borough.
To find out more go to fareham.gov.uk or call 01329 236100.