News | February 9, 2023

P.G Wodehouse Titles Saved From Welsh Refuse Dump

Monmouthshire Council

The Wodehouse books found at Five Lanes

Household recycling centres are not usually the first place someone would visit if they were looking for something antique or valuable. But a recent find of vintage books are sending curious collectors into a spin. A collection of old books by P.G Wodehouse, which were destined for the dump, have been saved by Suez colleagues at Five Lanes Household Recycling Centre (HRC) near Caldicot and are thought to be worth several hundred pounds. Suez is the council’s contractor that looks after all three of Monmouthshire’s household recycling centres in Wales.

The Wodehouse books, which were dropped off at HRC last year, caught the eye of colleagues, who thought they might be valuable. Wanting to know their worth, MCC staff got in touch with a book collector in Tintern. The collector explained how extraordinary a find the collection was and that it was rare to have books with their original wrappings. One of the books alone is thought to be worth over £200.

Chris Williams, Team Leader at Five Lanes HRC said: "These books were a great find. It’s good to know they have been saved, and someone will hopefully treasure them. Every week you have something new that comes in and you never know what you are going to get. As well as the antiques and collectables, we also have loads of everyday useful items that our customers love.”

Councillor Catrin Maby, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “Our Reuse Shops have been open for a while now and we continue to be surprised by the unique and rare items that pop up. It’s wonderful to know these special books have been saved from the tip and that someone will be able to enjoy them for many years to come.”

Roger Sealey, Operations Manager for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “This is another fantastic example of the reuse of items that are destined for disposal. Thanks to our engaged staff and their keen curiosity we were able to rescue this extraordinary collection of classic books. We are constantly monitoring the waste containers and approaching site users to salvage any items but we’d urge anyone to chat to one of our colleagues on site if you are unsure of whether something can be reused."

It’s hoped that the books, which are being carefully looked after by the shop’s staff, will now find a new home. They will go on sale at the Five Lanes HRC soon. Profits from the shops go towards tree planting in Monmouthshire.