Finding a needle in a haystack is always easier when the needle isn’t worth thousands of dollars, but the stress of it all was borne by the trash collectors from the city of Greenville, and reunited a woman with her lost wedding band.
It was a routine stop at the local recycling center for Melanie Harper, but as she was separating plastics and paper, she accidentally separated white gold and diamonds as well.
Her wedding band slipped off into the bins and she was sure the chances of finding it were slim. Harper emailed the city’s public works department and asked them if they could keep an eye out for a glittery band amid the trash, and while she went home unoptimistic, the litter pickers and public works employees upended the whole container in a parking lot and went to work.
Sifting meticulously through the refuse, the workers epitomized the ideas of public service, and perhaps it was destiny that the man who found it was named “Golden.”
“After hours of searching, Travis Golden struck gold. White gold. They called a very grateful Melanie, who came out to PW to reunite with her ring,” read a post from the Greenville South Carolina Facebook page, which gave a shout-out to Golden and the other staff members who pitched in to find the ring. “We are so grateful for your commitment to our community.”
“Finding a needle in a haystack = hard. Finding a ring in a recycling bin = nearly impossible. Unless you’re City of Greenville Public Works, where employees truly dive into their work!” the post added.
It’s not the first time this has happened in the country recently. Last August, GNN reported that parks supervisor Lauren Perez from Corpus Christi organized the complete disruption of Monday morning trash collection in order to locate a 40-yard dumpster where she knew a 17-year-old had lost a ring containing her father’s ashes.
Trash collection workers Jesse Martinez and Robert Trevinco joined Perez in combing through the trash left baking over the weekend’s nearly 100°F heat. They searched for hours until they came upon a big with the Subway boxes—where the girl’s mom had told them they would be—and methodically began opening them one by one until, at last, a purple jewel shined in the morning light.
“It was in the last bag we went through,” Perez told the Washington Post. “I was so excited to let her know.”
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