MANHATTAN, New York -- A Manhattan woman learned a valuable lesson about being careful with her wedding ring.
She threw it away by mistake, but thanks to the New York City Sanitation Department, she got it back.
"I kind of felt really helpless," said Shannon Lombardo.
A symbol of the pledge they made for eternity literally went out with the trash when Shannon accidentally threw her wedding ring and band away.
"I had just cleaned them and I had them in a paper towel," Shannon said. "I think I got distracted with the kids, it's hard to figure out, and I think I just crumpled it up, and I didn't feel the weight of them and I threw them out."
Desperate to find her custom vintage diamond rings, she called 311 who coordinated with NYC Sanitation recover the priceless jewelry.
"It wasn't so much about the money of the ring, it was what it represented," she said.
Shannon sifted through her building's trash first, but came up empty.
So, she and her husband, Jim, met sanitation workers at a Fairview, New Jersey, facility where trash is shipped before it's transported to landfills.
"We luckily kind of cut open one of the bags to see something with an amazon delivery with an address on it, and we came across something with our address on it," Jim said. "So, we just started looking the through that area."
After nearly half an hour of sorting through filth, waste, and the unthinkable, the Lombardo's struck gold, well actually platinum, when they miraculously found the missing rings.
"This man is in the trenches with us, just bag after bag," Shannon said.
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"It's pretty insane, all the things that went right to make it work," Jim said.
"When it's a ring, you start to think wow that's a small item, but we've done it before, we're trained how to find it," said Gabriel Moreno, Sanitation Supervisor.
"Seeing the happiness on their face, and I said that it's a great time for them to renew their vows and stuff," said Sekou Callender, Sanitation worker. "As long as they felt good, I felt good."
Now forever grateful to sanitation workers who went above and beyond, Shannon and Jim said the rings have taken on a new meaning of love overcoming seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
"We live in the greatest city in the world, it's truly amazing," Jim said.
"It's pretty incredible, what these guys do, not only the job that they do on a daily basis, but the fact that they went above and beyond, it's very humbling and I'm so grateful that this city has this department," Shannon said.
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NYC Sanitation Department miraculously reunites woman with lost wedding ring