Binmen in London found an OBE medal among waste they were sorting in a Waltham Forest depot and are struggling to find the owner.
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The prestigious award may have been thrown away by accident or dumped on purpose by the owner.
Waste clearance company EnviroWaste is now calling on members of the public to help reunite the medal with its rightful owner.
It is in a black leather presentation box with OBE printed in gold print on the lid and also contains paperwork featuring a 'when to wear' guide.
EnviroWaste owner James Rubin said: "You can imagine our astonishment when we found the OBE medal, it's not something you often find in waste hauls seeing as it's one of the highest accolades someone can receive! We come across some weird and wonderful things on hauls but this really is something that needs to find its way home.
"We've done everything we can to help reunite the medal with its owner but haven't been successful, so now we need the public to help us. If you have any information or know of anybody who's lost an OBE in the London area please don't hesitate to get in touch."
Mr Rubin said that as the depot deals with up to 30 clearances a day, it was impossible for them to know where it came from.