Paul Moar, who works at the Gremista Waste Management Facility in Lerwick, Shetland, was taken aback after local photographer Nick Dymond asked him where he could dispose of his mass of old photographs.
After being told that many of the slides featured photographs of the island dating back to the 70s, Paul asked if he could keep them to look through them.
The waste operator subsequently spent eight hours sifting through the bundles of slides, picking out the images of local life on Shetland.
"I found about 300 images of the island,” he said.
"Loads of them are of local residents, wildlife on Shetland and the island's landscape.
"I am just so glad I was there to save them – it was a real right place at the right time moment.”
Paul said the photographs include a number of old pictures of Fair Isle, where Nick worked as an assistant warden at the bird observatory in 1966, a walrus at Gutcher and a shot of an old P&O boat St. Clair.
There are also images of fisherman at sea, crofters at work and what appears to be a photo of famous Shetland birder Bill Oddie.
"When he said he wanted to get rid of them I thought that maybe there would be a few we could hand over to the Shetland Museum picture archive,” Paul said.
"It’s great to have been able to save a little bit of Shetland treasure, and Nick couldn’t have been nicer about it too.
"I know people on the island will appreciate seeing some of his work.”
Among the bags of slides were photos of Nick’s travels from all over the world.
The 77-year-old is a keen adventurer and has spent many years travelling around Asia and West Africa and recently completed a trip in South America.
His said his reason behind dumping the pictures was to declutter.
"I have boxes and boxes of slides and they’re just getting in the way,” he said.
"The ones of Shetland were taken a long time ago but it’s nice to see someone wants to do something with them.
"I actually gave up photography a while ago when the older camera models stopped and everything went digital.
"I also realised I spent far too long looking through a camera at wildlife and wanted to just be able to look at them myself. So now, when I can, I go off travelling without the camera.”
Nick was a former RSPB warden for Fetlar and has written a book on Fair Isle birds.
After their lucky chance meeting at the dump, Paul managed to track down the photographer with the help of Facebook to ask for his permission to post the pictures online.
A collection of his photographs showing local life on the island can be found online in a Shetland memories Facebook group which has been well-received by the community.