A boyfriend was a merry relieved man when his Christmas presents were saved after he accidentally threw them out with his recycling.

Danny Kent was within a reindeer’s whisker of losing the presents he had bought and wrapped for his partner before eagle-eyed workers recovered his Santa sack among tonnes of rubbish.

Mr Kent, of Old Church Road in Hastings, took a black bin bag containing wrapped presents along with bags of other waste he was getting rid of to the Veolia household waste recycling site off Bexhill Road on Friday afternoon.

When he got home he realised his yuletide error and went back to the site to try to find it.

However by the time he arrived back at the site, the container had been removed and taken to the nearby waste transfer station to be sorted.

Luckily, Mr Kent persuaded two Veolia employees to help him sift through five tonnes of rubbish to find the gifts worth hundreds of pounds.

Gary Chandler and Paul Young, from Veolia Environmental Services South Downs, had heard about what had happened and carefully looked for the bin liner.

Sack of gifts

The next day, when transferring the waste at the waste transfer station, they found the sack of gifts.

Mr Young said: “We often get people throw away items by mistake and it’s nearly impossible to find them in amongst all the material we process.

“I can’t begin to imagine the desperation Mr Kent and his family must have felt when he realised. I’m thrilled that Gary and I worked together and managed to save his Christmas by finding the presents.”

Mr Kent said: “I cannot thank Gary and Paul enough. I hope they have a very merry Christmas – they have sure saved mine from being a rubbish one.”

For details of your nearest household waste recycling site and Christmas opening hours visit or call 08453 550550.

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