After a nearly four-hour search Monday morning at a West Babylon garbage dump, Colleen Dyckman has both her wedding and engagement rings resting safely on her finger.
Dyckman, 48, of North Babylon, said she accidentally swept the rings off her counter and into the trash after preparing meals for her family Sunday night.
It wasn’t until the following morning that she realized the diamond rings she received from her husband, Ken, nearly 20 years ago were missing.
“I started searching around the house and realized that I must have thrown them out in the trash,” Dyckman said.
She immediately ran outside to chase after the garbage truck and told the driver about her predicament. The truck was diverted to a separate lot where its contents were dumped and a group of employees searched with Dyckman and her husband.
“There was so much of it, I just thought, after a while, we were never gonna find it,” Dyckman said. “After a couple of hours I was ready to call it quits.”
But Ed Wiggins, the sanitation site crew leader, was hopeful.
He told Dyckman his daughter had lost her wedding ring while on a boat in the Great South Bay, near the shore. A friend of his found the band after hours of sifting through the muck.
“I just kept telling her, ‘No one wants to look through garbage. It’s one of the most unpleasant things you can do, but it’s gonna be rainy tomorrow, so this was going to kind of be her last chance to find it,’” he said.
Wiggins, 61, of Lindenhurst, said in his 41 years working in sanitation for the Town of Babylon, the Dyckmans are the third couple he’s seen find wedding rings in the dump.
After about four hours of picking through the piles of trash, one sanitation employee, Kimberly Weathers, held up the two rings.
“I ran over and gave her a big hug,” Dyckman said. “I was completely hysterical. I was so emotional. I looked like a raccoon with my mascara running down my face.”
The Dyckmans celebrated by bringing pizza and brownies for the crew.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to them,” Dyckman said. “They never ever stopped looking.”