Amazing recovery: New Hampshire man rescues wedding rings from 20 tons of trash

It’s the stuff of nightmares: You’re doing chores and then realize you might have made a big mistake by throwing out something important.

Kevin Butler of Windham, New Hampshire, experienced this dilemma on Nov. 23 when he took out the trash and dropped it off at a transfer station in town. 

Hours after he took out the garbage, Butler’s wife realized she could not find her wedding rings, which she’d cleaned earlier in the day. 

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In what would prove to be a dangerous move, she’s set them out to dry on a napkin, as the Associated Press reported. 

After Butler’s wife searched the house fruitlessly for her wedding rings, he realized he might know what happened. 

Wedding rings pictured on left (not the actual rings lost), plus bags of trash from a street pictured on right. Butler had a hunch about what happened to his wife's rings — turns out he was right.

Wedding rings pictured on left (not the actual rings lost), plus bags of trash from a street pictured on right. Butler had a hunch about what happened to his wife’s rings — turns out he was right.
(iStock)

They were in a garbage bag at the transfer station.

As it turns out, Butler’s hunch was correct. 

He had thrown the wedding rings out when he threw away the napkin. 

People at the transfer station were willing to lend a hand and do some quite literal dirty work to try to find the rings.

He rushed back to the transfer station and explained his plight. 

“He said, ‘I’m pretty sure I threw the rings out,’” Dennis Senibaldi, the transfer station supervisor, said on Tuesday, the AP noted.

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People at the transfer station were willing to lend a hand and do some dirty work — literally — to try to find the rings.

This photo provided by Dennis Senibaldi, a transfer station supervisor, shows the wedding rings recovered from a 20-ton trash trailer on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Windham, New Hampshire. A celery stalk sighting and a little luck came together to help a man find his wife’s lost rings — they were wrapped in a napkin that he had accidentally thrown away.

This photo provided by Dennis Senibaldi, a transfer station supervisor, shows the wedding rings recovered from a 20-ton trash trailer on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Windham, New Hampshire. A celery stalk sighting and a little luck came together to help a man find his wife’s lost rings — they were wrapped in a napkin that he had accidentally thrown away.
(Dennis Senibaldi via AP)

After viewing surveillance footage to determine when Butler had arrived at the transfer station and where he’d placed the garbage, Senibaldi helped narrow down where Butler’s trash bag had ended up in the 20-ton trailer of garbage. 

“I could see a celery stalk sticking out the side of the bag.”

With the help of an excavator, Senibaldi noticed a celery stalk in one of the potential bags, something that Butler reported was in the garbage along with the rings.

“One of the things he said was [inside] was celery stalks, and I could see a celery stalk sticking out the side of the bag,” Senibaldi said, the AP reported.

Celery stalks helped to identify the correct bag of trash containing the accidentally discarded wedding rings. 

Celery stalks helped to identify the correct bag of trash containing the accidentally discarded wedding rings. 
(iStock)

That bag turned out to be the one that Butler had dropped off at the transfer station hours before. 

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Initially, Butler was worried that even though his bag had been identified, the rings wouldn’t be in there.

The Butler wedding rings (not pictured) were found buried at the bottom of a trash bag. 

The Butler wedding rings (not pictured) were found buried at the bottom of a trash bag. 
(iStock )

They started going through the bag, but at first there was no sign of the rings.

Then, at the very bottom, underneath some carrot or sweet potato peelings, there was a napkin. 

“Literally, I opened up the napkin — there were the two rings,” Senibaldi said, the AP reported.

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Fox News Digital reached out to Butler and Senibaldi for additional comment. 

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article. 


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