Seattle Garbage Man Hailed as 'Hero' After Returning $12K in Lost Checks to School

Micah Speir said returning the checks was the right thing to do.

ByABC News
November 5, 2015, 12:11 PM

— -- A Seattle trash collector is being hailed for his integrity after he returned a bag with about $12,000 in checks to a local elementary school after discovering it on his route.

Micah Speir, from the King County Waste Management Company, told ABC News he spotted a bank bag in a pile of scattered trash at about 7:45 a.m. on Oct. 26. A slip inside the bag said the checks were for a recent fundraiser held at the Lawton Elementary School by the school's Parent Teacher Association. The money pays for various items such as school supplies and art supplies, according to ABC affiliate KOMO.

After making multiple phone calls, Speir said he finally reached the principal, who told him a member of the PTA accidentally dropped the bag in the trash. The garbage man, who has been with Waste Management for four years, said Principal Dorian Manza met him on his trash route, took out his wallet and offered to personally pay him back for returning the money. Speir declined.

"The only thing that crossed my mind was who did it belong to and how to get it back to them," Speir said. "It doesn't really take much effort to do the right thing. It was no sweat off my back."

Manza told KOMO that Lawton Elementary is indebted to Speir.

"That's just going the extra mile for students and families and a school, and it's incredible. And it speaks to his character," Manza said.

School officials from Lawton Elementary School posted an announcement last Friday on the school's website expressing their thanks and calling Speir their "hero."

"Often times we don’t think much of the crews that do jobs we rarely see, however, when someone goes the extra mile they should be appreciated," the message read.

But the residential and commercial neighborhood trash collector said he was just doing his job.

"I'm just happy I was able to come across it and it didn't blow away," Speir said.