A prized Christmas present feared lost forever after being binned during a sibling argument has been found, thanks to recycling centre staff sifting through 150 tonnes of rubbish to track it down.
Its recovery, none the worse for having been dumped, is also an ideal birthday present for Eyemouth youngster Zoey Kerr as she turns seven today.
It will also leadto a happier next birthday and Christmas for her little brother Riley, four, as he was facing missing out on presents as punishment for throwing out the £270 tablet and to enable his parents Stephen and Gillian to afford a replacement.
This missing iPad was found by staff at the Viridor waste site in Dunbar in a shed housing 150 tonnes of rubbish, much to the surprise and delight of mum-of-three Gillian, 28, a supermarket worker.
Zoey’s parents raised the alert after learning of the iPad’s fate while preparing to move house, but they held out little hope of ever seeing it again as, by then, it was hours since their bin had been emptied.
“I said to her brother Riley ‘do you know where your sister’s iPad is?’ and in a very matter-of-fact manner, he told me ‘yes, in the bin’,” said Gillian.
“When I asked why, he just said ‘because she annoyed me’.
“When I reported it to Scottish Borders Council and at the Eyemouth recycling centre, I really didn’t think we’d see it again, but the Viridor team took the time to find out where we lived to narrow down where it might be and then to search through the rubbish to find it.
“It has meant so much to our seven-year-old.”
Better still, the youngster has even been give an iTunes voucher by Viridor bosses so she can celebrate her iPad’s return by downloading some new songs onto it.
Its recovery will also please Zoey’s elder brother Jamie, nine, as he was having to share his iPad with her while hers was missing.
Waste site manager Barry Falgate said: “The team were so happy to be able to help that little girl out.
“Six men worked through their break to find the iPad, and they were thrilled to be successful.”
One of the waste site workers who found the iPad, Robert Hawrylewicz, is a neighbour of the family in Eyemouth, and he has popped around to see how pleased Zoey is to have it back.
“It’s the small things in life which really make a difference and this really was a good example of members of our community coming together,” he said.
“Zoey was devastated when her iPad was lost and just delighted when it was found.
“She was very happy to write a thank-you letter and send a £20 present and a box of chocolates to the team.”
The Viridor team sent the £20, some of Riley’s Christmas money, back to Zoey but gratefully accepted the chocolates.
In a letter to Zoey, Chris Loughlin, chief executive officer of Pennon, the company that owns Viridor, said: “When we heard what happened to your iPad, we all wanted to find it for you, so we were very happy when we found it.
“I’m very pleased it has now made it back home to you where it belongs.”
“I have included a voucher for you for iTunes as a thank you for your kind letter.
“I hope you can use this to download some of your favourite songs on to your iPad.”