Billy Boyd says he dropped the phone Tuesday while raking his yard outside Aspen and unknowingly scooped it into a bag of leaves.
He says he didn't realize his mistake until after he left the leaves at a city recycling center.
Boyd says he could hear the phone ringing but couldn't reach it because of the grate across the recycling bin. By the time he reached city officials, the bin had been emptied onto a massive leaf pile at the dump.
After a half hour of dialing, listening and sifting at the dump, Boyd found his phone.
Landfill manager Chris Hoofnagle says it's the first time he can remember anyone finding a lost item at the dump.
Information from: Aspen Daily News, http://www.aspendailynews.com