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Medicine dumpster diving

Nevada County residents are known for their random acts of kindness, but Fabian Joyal is in disbelief with how far people reached out to him this week.

On Tuesday Joyal picked up his heart medicine at Dokimos’ Pharmacy in Nevada City and walked across the SPD Supermarket parking lot to turn in his recyclables to Nevada County Waste Management. Then he made a big mistake.

“I carelessly tossed my prescription into the bin with my recycled magazines,” said Joyal, 89, of Nevada City.



Several hours later, Joyal realized he had lost his prescription and called Dokimos’ pharmacist Halle Barnes for a refill. While on the phone, Joyal mentioned to Barnes that he might have pitched the $56 worth of medicine into the recycling bin and figured it was long gone.

The problem was relayed to Dokimos’ worker Kelly Partridge, who didn’t want to




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forget about it.

“I ran over there and mentioned it to (Waste Management’s Fred Atkinson), and he dived right in the bin,” Partridge said. “We searched but couldn’t find it, and he said the bin would be gone Wednesday morning.”

When Partridge got back to the pharmacy, she called Waste Management, and Recycling Manager Tim Willette was notified.

“We contacted our drivers,” Willette said Wednesday, and they brought their recyclables into the firm’s plant near the Nevada County Airport and dumped them.

“Our crews sorted it, and we found it,” Willette said. “It took about 15 minutes.”

On Wednesday morning, Willette returned the prescription to the pharmacy.

“If there is anyway we can feasibly help the public we do,” he said.

The materials are moved daily, and when people think they have lost something in the trash or recycling, they need to let Waste Management know right away, Willette said.

“If it had been today, it would have been gone,” he said.

“It happens about two to three times a year,” Atkinson said at his recycling site. “Someone lost their taxes once, and we did the same thing for them.”

The response by Waste Management for Joyal moved Partridge to remark: “When somebody does something for somebody they don’t even know, it’s nice.”

“I guess they felt sorry for this old guy,” Joyal said. “When something like this happens to you, your faith in humanity is restored.”

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To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.


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