Mary Theresa Pallos said she noticed about an hour after a recent visit to the New London Turnpike transfer station that she had inadvertently tossed her wallet into a recycling container along with her intended items, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Wednesday.
Pallos said she approached staff at the station and they immediately began to sort through the recyclables.
"Several times I mentioned that they should abort their efforts, but they were persistent and would not give up," she said.
Pallos said the workers found the wallet after about an hour of searching, earning her "surprise and appreciation."
Pallos said she sent a thank you note to superintendent of sanitation Michael Bisi, who said not everyone who loses items in the containers ends up with "happy endings."
"Sometimes it is like looking for a needle in a haystack when you are looking through tons of material," Bisi said. "We are not always successful, but it is nice to hear from people when we are. Years ago when we had the landfill we were known for going in looking for things. We do the best we can, but there is probably a lot of treasures lost in the trash."