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  • Writer's picturePaul


It must be nice to have money to burn. I mean, just think of all the things you could do! And all the Haribo you could buy! But what if you quite literally have money to burn? Well in that case, you could always use your excess cash just like the UK’s principal banknote printing facility in Debden, Essex, and toss it all on the fire to keep yourself warm. I mean, just think of, er, all the money you could save...

Finally, it’s payday: “Toss it on the fire!” (Pixabay)

Debden, in Essex’s Epping Forest, just outside London, has been home to the Bank of England’s principal banknote printing facility since 1954. For almost four decades during the plant’s operation, whenever banknotes were misprinted, misaligned, removed from circulation or otherwise deemed unfit for public use, they were taken into the bowels of the factory and thrown onto furnaces, with the heat generated from the fire used to warm the building.

As logical as this practice might seem, alas, it was discontinued in 1990, when it was deemed environmentally unsound. Instead, old banknotes are now shredded on site and merely sent to landfill or else removed to more eco-friendly industrial incinerators located elsewhere.

But for some thirty-six years the Debden banknote printworks quite literally had money to burn.

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