Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can I recover a valuable item from the trash?

diamond jewelry - credit:, my phone rang. My Solid Waste Transfer Station colleague, Ray, was on the other end.

"Today, we had someone in here looking for a diamond watch and ring. Maybe this would be something for the blog..."

Indeed it is! Part of the daily Transfer Station operations includes keeping the various dropoff areas humming, and the trucks unloading. Generally, the material that's brought in is intended to stay there. However, sometimes, valuables mistakenly end up in the trash. When this happens, our Transfer Station staff springs into action.

On that day, it was jewelry that had accidently ended up in the wrong place.

Thankfully, the trash collection truck which serviced the resident's home had not yet come to the Transfer Station to unload. When it arrived, staff pulled it aside, and had the driver unload in a separate area. (If the truck had already unloaded when the resident contacted us, it would have been too late to attempt to find the items.)

We contacted the resident, who then came to begin the hunt for the bag which held the missing items. We provided safety equipment, and assisted as much as possible. This can be very challenging work, especially if the sought-for things are small.

Was there a happy ending? The missing bag was recovered! We were ready to celebrate! However, it turned out that the jewelry was not in the bag after all. The story did ultimately end in victory: the resident called us later to share that the missing items were found behind the dresser. Hooray!

What should you do if you discover that an item of monetary or sentimental value has been whisked away as trash? We've taken this particular jewelry situation as inspiration to jot down the procedure for how to (possibly) recover a valuable item from the trash.