According to the Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings Study, the average length of an engagement is 14 months. But once the wedding is done and over with, besides photos and memories, all the couple has is their wedding ring as a physical token of their marriage.
Shannon Lombardo thought her and her husband’s wedding rings were gone forever after she mistakenly threw them out in a wad of paper towels after cleaning. Not knowing what else to do, she called the NYC Sanitation department in a futile hope to track down the missing rings.
However, she didn’t think she’d get very far. “I was thinking, it’s New York City Sanitation, there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to track down my ring,” she explained to the Daily News. “I was just very skeptical, but I had nothing left to lose.”
After her urging, the sanitation department held off on collecting trash from Lombardo’s Manhattan apartment building so she could rifle through her neighbor’s trash. This was for naught, as the rings were nowhere to be found.
So, Lombardo and her husband drove to New Jersey’s Fairview collection location, where all of NYC’s trash is processed before it hits the landfill. When she got there, sanitation workers pointed out which truck her garbage would be in based on her address, and then she got to digging.
With the help of sanitation worker Sekou Callender and manager Joe Skrenta, the Lombardos searched through 800 bags of trash until one hour later the platinum rings appeared wrapped in tissue.
After this fiasco, Lombardo explains that she is even more inspired about the commitment of complete strangers to help one random couple find something that means so much.
“These people went above and beyond — amazing people,” she added in her interview.. “Now, that’s what the ring symbolizes: that there’s hope and goodness in the world, and against the odds it can happen — even in a garbage dump.”
Truly, a diamond in the rough.