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By Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — When Ella Nadalall misplaced $5,000, her mortgage payment, mistakenly throwing it in the garbage Tuesday.

She knew exactly what to do.

In tears, she called her son, Krishna Nadalall, who works for the Long Beach sanitation department, and told him what had happened.

“I called my supervisors and told them the situation,” Nadalall told Newsday. “I said OK, it’s alright. I finished my job and went to the dump.”

So Nadalall, with the help of some colleagues, started digging through mounds of trash by hand.

“I was thinking we have to find the money,” Nadalall said. “Where is she going to get that from? It’s a lot of money.”

They were about to give up when they started finding $20 and $50 bills. The envelope had opened, spilling bills into a trash bag. In an hour, they were able to recover all but about $40 of the money.

“The supervisors and guys were great. They’re like family to me,” Nadalall said. “It’s a miracle we got the money back.”