A woman who lives in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley has vowed never to take her wedding ring off again after she wrapped it up in newspaper and threw it into the compost along with the guts of the pumpkin she'd carved with her son for Halloween.
Bonnie Pick-Melanson, of New Minas, was carving jack-o'-lanterns with her son earlier this week on a table covered with newspapers.
She took off her diamond engagement ring, her wedding band and another gold ring and placed them on the table because she didn't want them to get them "slimy."
"Before I knew it, we were done pumpkin carving and I just wrapped the newspaper up and never thought anything of it and put it into the compost bin," Pick-Melanson told CBC News on Thursday.
"Of course, the next morning, I just happened to be walking out and I noticed the truck go by and this awful gut feeling I had that my rings were in that truck at that point."
She raced into her home and her suspicions were confirmed — her rings, worth about $15,000, were nowhere to be found.
Pick-Melanson said she made a frantic call to the Valley Waste Resource Management Hotline and was told, "That's like finding a needle in a haystack."
"I don't care," she replied.
'I feel like I won the lottery'
Dale Roberts, a curbside inspector with Valley Waste Resource Management, said staff was able to contact the driver and stop him in the middle of his route. The driver then headed back to the depot with Pick-Melanson's precious rings somewhere in the back of his truck.
"The truck was almost loaded at the time so he just cut his run a little bit short and made it back here and luckily it wasn't an entire load, either," Roberts said.
"When that was dumped on the tipping floor here, there was a group of staff here that volunteered a few minutes of their time to go through it with rakes and hoes and picks and pull it all apart."
Pick-Melanson helped too, and Roberts soon found a bundled up newspaper containing the rings.
He said the chances of finding lost items from a dump truck are "almost slim to none."
"Bonnie had a very good description of what we would find them in. It had held completely intact. It hadn't opened at all," said Roberts.
"I was extremely surprised that we could find it and that we found it that quickly. It really took less than 10 minutes with Bonnie herself there helping and the various staff and even the driver."
Pick-Melanson said she wanted to thank the Valley Waste Resource Management staff for making sure her Halloween didn't turn into a nightmare.
"They're not coming off," she said of her rings.
"I feel like I won the lottery."