An Oregon man who accidentally trashed his life savings was reunited with his cash, thanks a worker at a Northern California recycling center.

When the man realized he had tossed a shoebox containing roughly $23,000 into the recycling bin outside his home, he called to alert Recology in Ashland, in hopes they could find it.

Unfortunately, the load had already been shipped to the Samoa Resource Recovery Center, in Humboldt, and was somewhere among more than 20 tons of recycling.

“It’s not the first time I’ve heard about someone losing something valuable in the trash or recycling that we’ve been able to recover,” Linda Wise, general manager of Recology Humboldt County told the San Jose Mercury News. “But it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

Wise told her staff to be on the lookout for the box.

On Friday, a Recology worker spotted the box of cash in a load full of paper, destined for the baler.

They contacted the man, and by Saturday morning, the $23,000 was back with its rightful, and very relieved owner.

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