Man loses his wedding ring at Tyneside recycling centre


DUMPING for joy! Husband loses his wedding ring during a Valentine’s Day trip to the tip – before workers manage to FIND it after sifting through 10ft pile of rubbish

  • James Ross, 38, was dropping off waste to a Tyneside recycling plant last week
  • After dumping some cardboard boxes he realised he had lost his wedding ring
  • Mr Ross appealed to staff to find his missing ring which was in a large waste pile 

A husband who lost his wedding ring during a Valentine’s Day trip to the tip has spoken of his joy after staff miraculously found it.

James Ross, 38, was dropping off cardboard at the Household Waste Recycling Centre in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, on Sunday morning.

While he was unloading the rubbish he felt the ring move before seeing it tumble into a household waste container.

James Ross, 38, from Cullercoats, North Tyneside, pictured with wife Lara, right, was reunited with his wedding ring after losing it at a council recycling centre

Staff at the tip held a finger-tip search of a 10-foot high pile of waste

Mr Ross, right, pictured with the recycling centre’s team leader Adam McGregor, left

Dreading the thought of explaining the mishap to his wife, Lara, Mr Ross said his heart sank as he realised he was unlikely to see the ring again.

Mr Ross, a father-of-two, said: ‘My hands were cold and, as I was shaking out the box, suddenly the ring was just gone.

‘It wasn’t what it cost – it was laser engraved with my wife’s handwriting and the date we got married in 2009. It was irreplaceable.

‘I don’t know if it caught the edge of the box, but my heart just sank. I was beside myself. I had no expectations and thought the chances of getting it back were slim.’

Mr Ross reported the loss to a site operative and then looked on nervously as four staff members conducted a fingertip search through a 10ft mound of household rubbish.

The team, who work for SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK on behalf of North Tyneside Council, searched for the ring for around 20 minutes.

They were close to giving up when plant operator Jordan Cooper, 22, suddenly spotted the ring in a puddle of mud under a 10ft pile of waste.

And to Mr Ross’s delight, his Valentine’s Day nightmare was over.

He and his wife, 40, have now praised the staff for their heroics.

Mr Ross said: ‘The ring was caked in rubbish and grime, but it was amazing to have it back. The staff were lifesavers.

‘They’ve gone way beyond the call of duty, being as nice and polite as they can be.

Mr Ross lost his ring while visiting the Suez Recycling centre in Tyneside on St Valentine’s Day

Fortunately for the father of two the workers were able to find his ring delighting his wife

‘My wife was over the moon, she thought I was making up an elaborate story. We can’t thank them enough.’

Mrs Ross said: ‘This actually isn’t the first time James has lost his wedding ring, he lost it in the sand on the beach before had people searching and but he miraculously found it.

‘The shape of the ring is round so when you get cold or lose weight it easily slips off. His ring really has nine lives.

‘We can’t thank the staff enough. It is great the give them the recognition that they deserve as they really went above and beyond their roles to help James.’

The heroes who searched for the ring alongside Mr Cooper were site supervisor, Phil Cooper, Adam McGregor, and Brian Hellens.

Mr Cooper said: ‘When we realised what had happened, we were all happy to help in the search, especially as it was Valentine’s Day.

‘It was like looking for a needle in a haystack as there was a huge mound of waste to search through and we had the added difficulty of ensuring we kept our distance and followed the COVID guidelines.

‘We were just about to give up when I spotted it, I was over the moon.’ The Mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: ‘I am so pleased that the staff were able to reunite James with his wedding ring – and on Valentine’s Day too.

‘Our staff and partners always go the extra mile but the significance of the day and the obvious distress this must have caused has spurred them on to keep going until the wedding ring was found.

‘They’re a caring bunch and obviously with a romantic streak as well. I’m very proud of them.’

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