A man who fell asleep in a trash container awoke inside a garbage truck that was about to compact its load but was saved after making a frantic cell phone call to police, authorities said.

"He said, 'I fell asleep in a Dumpster and a trash truck has now picked up the Dumpster and emptied the load in the back of the truck,"' police Lt. Mike Pousak told The Daily Tribune newspaper.

The man only knew the intersection where he fell asleep. As he was talking to a police dispatcher Thursday, he said the truck was starting to compact its load.

"The battery in his cell phone became dislodged and we lost contact with him," Pousak said.

Then police spotted a garbage truck in a parking lot. "An officer went and pounded on the side of the truck and somebody pounded back," Pousak said.

The driver emptied the garbage in the lot, and officers climbed through the garbage and found the man, who appeared unhurt.

The man said he was looking for returnable bottles when he fell asleep.

"He's not homeless but is unemployed and trying to make ends meet," Pousak said. "If I was him I would go to church and play the lottery, because today was his lucky day."