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A gloved hand holds half of a set of dentures. Behind the hand, a basket with the label "odds & ends" is visible.
One of the many wayward dentures that have passed through C-TRAN's Lost and Found.

How many pairs of dentures have made their way through C-TRAN’s Lost and Found? More than you’d think. So far this year, we’re already at two––though, technically, the most recent is only the bottom half of a set.

It’s been four years since we last dug through the Lost and Found archives here on the Transit Matters blog, and since that time, Customer Service has continued to receive a steady stream of items that range from the typical, such as keys or umbrellas, to “How did someone forget this?”, like wheelchairs or spoon racks.

“Basically, anything someone would transport in a car will come through Lost and Found,” says Customer Service Representative Cherish DesRochers. “One time, we had someone leave behind two vacuums on the same day.”  

When items are left on our buses, they are placed in secure bins throughout our system until they’re transported to our administrative offices at 10600 51st Circle in Vancouver. Once received, the items are tagged and assigned an item number for tracking.

After items have been tagged, they’re sorted by category and placed in storage containers where they wait to be reunited with their owners. One of these bins is labeled “Odds and Ends”—and sometimes, there’s an emphasis on the odd. You'd be correct if you guessed that this is the bin that the dentures end up in.  

Among the rare items to pass through, DesRochers recalls a tomato plant that showed up a few years ago: “I kept it alive as long as I could. I didn’t want to throw it away, so I got permission to keep it on the patio [at C-TRAN’s Administration building]. I wanted to keep it alive in case somebody claimed it.” The owner never contacted us about the forgotten tomato plant, but it lived a peaceful life being cared for by DesRochers for the rest of that summer. It even produced a few tomatoes that C-TRAN employees enjoyed.

A tomato plant turned into the C-TRAN Lost and Found in three stages: In the first, it's a small starter. In the second, it's a large plant held up by stakes. The third is a closeup of green tomatoes hanging from the vine of the plant.

Customer Service does its best to reunite items with their owners, whether or not we hear from them. When an item like a library book or a school-issued instrument goes unclaimed, our representatives will even contact those organizations to try to return it.

Despite their best efforts, Customer Service has many items that go unclaimed. C-TRAN donates as many items as possible that can be reused to local nonprofits to give them a new home and reduce the number of items that end up in a landfill.

To our passengers: The next time you lose your dentures, a tomato plant, or anything in between, don’t forget to call C-TRAN.

C-TRAN Lost and Found can be contacted at 360-695-0123 or by using the Lost and Found inquiry form on our website.

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