NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Bedford, Massachusetts woman who accidentally threw her family heirloom diamond ring in the trash, had the ring back on Tuesday.
She and a garbage company tracked down the ring, going to great lengths to retrieve it.
'I said, 'Oh my God, that's my ring'," said Joan Sawyer.
Joan Sawyer thought she would never see it again.
"I was in a total panic," she said.
She had thrown away her great aunt's diamond ring by accident last week at her Bedford home.
"I said, 'Oh my God, it's in the rubbish truck'," Joan Sawyer said.
She called the Bedford DPW, who called Allied Waste Service, who let them know the truck number.
They quickly raced to Covanta Energy in Haverhill, where they waited for three hours for truck 24-44 to show up.
"I went 'Oh my God, 2444,' leaped out of the car," said Joan Sawyer.
The truck emptied its load - 10 tons of rubbish - in a room, and the process got underway of examining every piece of garbage.
"Talk about a needle in a haystack. And obviously, this is it," said Bill Sawyer.
Covanta workers carefully looked for the ring as Bill and Joan looked on nervously.
And then, it happened. Joan found the ring.
"I said 'Oh my God, that's my bag, I recognize something in it'," said Joan Sawyer.
Bill Sawyer started to tear the bag apart and there it was. My husband, Bill, picked up a paper towel like this, and the ring dropped right on the floor, right by my feet."
"I don't know who was more excited, Joan and I, or the folks here," said Bill Sawyer.
"You could almost see the tears in her eyes; she was thrilled she found it. And then everyone who helped out, they were just happy they got to see how happy she was and we were happy we could help them out," said Ken Nydam of Covanta.
Joan Sawyer said the driver of the garbage truck was instrumental in tracking down the ring.
She said that he knew exactly where in the truck the Sawyer's garbage was located.
Joan Sawyer said that on Wednesday when he comes to pick up their garbage, she will have something very special for him to say "Thank you."