An employee of the Kent County Recycling Center in the US city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, should get a hefty bonus as his sharp eyes saved the center and nearby buildings from destruction after someone attempted to recycle a live cannonball. The incident occurred on 19 May.
The center had received another delivery and employees were inspecting the contents on the sorting lines, separating paper, plastic and metal from the mass. One unnamed employee noticed an odd round metal object. The employee was about to let it continue its travel on the conveyor belt, when he suddenly reconsidered and pushed the stop button. He then alerted his fellow employees and contacted the boss, who in turn contacted the police and fire departments.
The mysterious object turned out to be "live ordnance" with a detonator. The police report said the object dates back to the American Civil War. Officers from the Michigan State Police bomb squad safely removed the ammunition from the center and destroyed it at a testing ground.
The incident made Kent County Commissioner Phil Skaggs post a statement informing residents of Grand Rapids that live ammunition is not recyclable. "And a reminder, everyone, please follow the instructions on how to recycle. Just to be clear: DO NOT RECYCLE CANNONBALLS FROM ANY WAR!", Skaggs wrote in a Facebook post.