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Woman’s Lost Wedding Ring Found at a South Carolina Recycling Center: ‘Needle in a Haystack’

Public works staff spent hours sifting through piles of recyclables before finally finding the tiny sparkler

<p>City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook</p> Public works staff members in Greenville, South Carolina, helped Melanie Harper find her lost wedding band

City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook

Public works staff members in Greenville, South Carolina, helped Melanie Harper find her lost wedding band

A South Carolina woman has been reunited with a treasured item.

Melanie Harper of Greenville was tossing her recyclables in a bin at a local recycling center on Sunday when the unthinkable happened. Her diamond and white gold wedding band slipped off her finger, getting lost amid the pile of plastic, paper and cardboard.

According to a post on the City of Greenville's Facebook page, Harper emailed the city's public works department to ask staff to keep a lookout for her ring, though she wasn't optimistic.

"I know the likelihood of finding this is slim to none. But if the ring is found during the course of processing the recycling, I would be most appreciative if someone could contact me," she wrote.

<p>City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook</p> Workers sifted through plastic and cardboard to locate Melanie Harper's ring

City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook

Workers sifted through plastic and cardboard to locate Melanie Harper's ring

Little did she know, the staff at the recycling center was quickly jumping into action. On Monday morning, instead of processing the bin, public works supervisors and litter crew members dumped the contents out on the ground and meticulously sifted through the recyclables.

"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 the post, which shouted out Golden and the other staff members who pitched in to find the ring. "We are so grateful for your commitment to our community."

Related: Penn. Man Rejoined with Parents’ ‘Lost’ Wedding Rings Hidden in His Childhood Home: ‘I Was in Shock'

<p>City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook</p> Melanie Harper's ring

City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook

Melanie Harper's ring

"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.

The comment section was also filled with praise for the workers.

"So nice! I hope those gentlemen get treated to a steak dinner!" wrote on person, while another commented, "What a wonderful act of kindness and very hard work! Thank you for all you do. Proud of you!!"

<p>City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook</p> Melanie Harper poses with members of the City of Greenville Public Works staff

City of Greenville, South Carolina Government/Facebook

Melanie Harper poses with members of the City of Greenville Public Works staff

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Related: Workers at N.H. Transfer Station Recover Woman's Wedding Ring Accidentally Thrown in Trash: 'A Good Ending to a Story'

In a similar story back in November, a New Hampshire woman accidentally threw her wedding ring in the trash. She called the local transfer station and explained her predicament.

"She gave me some particulars: at what time her husband threw the trash out, what was in the trash bag, what kind of car he was driving,” Dennis Senibaldi, general services director for the Windham-based station, told local news outlet WHDH at the time.

Using surveillance footage, Senibaldi was able to pinpoint where the ring was likely to be. He and his crew had to dig 12 feet down into a trailer filled with about 20 tons of trash.

After a two-hour search, they hit the jackpot and found the woman's trash bag containing the ring. Senibaldi promptly called her to give her the good news.

“Talking to her on Wednesday, she was completely heartbroken. Friday, when she came in, she was happy as can be, gave me a big hug and was very thankful," he recalled to WHDH.

"We are public servants and I think this really brings the meaning of public service," he added.

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