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Landfill staff helps recover wedding rings mistakenly thrown away

The resident threw out the rings while cleaning.
Credit: Hall County Government

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Hall County woman is counting her blessings and giving much thanks to the staff at a landfill. 

That's because last week, Joan Sheffield took off her wedding rings and wrapped them in tissue paper in order to do some cleaning, according to a news release. The rings were later thrown away by mistake.

"The city of Gainesville garbage truck had just picked up her stop when she realized what had happened," Hall County Solid Waste Director Johnnie Vickers said.

Sheffield then called Dan Owen, Gainesville's Solid Waste superintendent, and explained what had happened and that she could still see the truck down the street.

"Dan called the driver and stopped the truck then called me to help start the recovery," Vickers said. "I told him to send the truck to the landfill and we would dump that load on the cement floor and help with the recovery."

They said once the truck dumped the load of trash on the tipping floor, Sheffield and solid waste crews from both the city and Hall County started going through bags looking for the diamond rings. After about 30 minutes, Sheffield spotted the rings.

This is not the first instance of valuables being recovered by the Hall County Landfill staff. They said that in 2018, approximately $100,000 worth of jewelry was recovered by landfill staff after a citizen mistakenly threw it away.

"It seems like every Christmas, someone accidentally throws away a child's gifts or we are sent looking for a precious keepsake during another time of year that somehow ended up in the trash," he said. "We are happy to help, and it's just a part of what we do."

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