ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Solid Waste workers were honored Friday for sifting through a mountain of trash to help find a woman’s purse. The search had a bit of an embarrassing end, but everyone was smiling about it Friday.
It was the day before July 4th and JoAnn Dennison was at her neighbor’s house. She says keeping tabs on her purse was the last thing on her mind.
“We’d been barbecuing, and there was stuff everybody was helping pick up trash, and all of a sudden no purse,” she said.
The next day, they started hunting for it.
“The only door we didn’t knock on was the neighbor’s because we thought they were already at work. So we just decided that it probably had been accidentally thrown away.”
“We were frantic. We chased the garbage trucks around the neighborhood until we found one,” said Bruce Dennison, her husband.
That chase led to a team of six people from Solid Waste, and two hours of searching through more than nine tons of garbage in a parking lot out in the landfill. After awhile, she and her husband told Martin Garcia and his team, they should call it a day.
“She said it was fine after about an hour, I told her we’ll continue looking for a little bit longer. We stood for another hour and I called her and let her know we were unsuccessful,” he said.
But, it wasn’t long before her lost purse would show up in the one place she hadn’t checked.
“Later that day, when the neighbor got back from work, she walked across the street and said ‘Oh, by the way you left your purse over here last night.’ And I said, ‘wow!'”
A little embarrassed, she called Solid Waste to let them know. She and her husband then nominated Garcia and his team for a city award, Friday’s Heroes.
“Talk about people dropping everything, over an honest mistake, those are good people,” said Garcia.
Garcia says even though the purse wasn’t in the landfill, he and his team would be more than willing to do it again especially during the holiday season.