During his 36 years as a garbage collector, Bob Smethurst did a little dumpster diving of his own, but what he was collecting was definitely not trash. Smethurst began finding and saving WWI photographs, letters, postcards, and bullets back in '70s, a decade when he says many of the veterans were probably passing away and their families or care providers were tossing their memorabilia. "'In the early days we used to carry the bins on our shoulders. Therefore, when we emptied the bins you used to see the paperwork coming out, and the photographs," he told Daily Mail.

On the topic of what will happen to his 5,000 piece collection, Smethurst is still on the fence: I have not given a great deal of thought about what will happen to my collection, but I do have children and grandchildren. Not to mention several collecting friends who keep dropping hints...The trouble is, if it is donated to a museum most things will never be seen again, just stored and forgotten and no joy to anyone." To check out more of Smethurst's collection, click through to the Daily Mail link below.

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[via DailyMail]