Couple finds 'needle in haystack'
by Mina Hochberg
In 16 years at the Waste Management Northwest dump, nothing like it had ever happened. Mary-Jo and Scott Laster of Woodinville left the dump happier than when they had come dashing in a short time earlier on a quest for a wedding ring lost in the garbage.
Mary-Jo Laster had taken off her wedding ring when her finger swelled up, due to pregnancy. For safe keeping, she taped the ring underneath a table, but inadvertently threw it away a few weeks later with a piece of tape she found lying on the ground. After a couple of days, only an hour after the garbage truck left, she realized where the ring must have gone.
"We tried to chase down the garbage truck," Laster said. When the couple reached the dump, the manager gave the couple a half-hour to sift through the six tons of garbage dumped onto the pavement.
With the aid of two garbage truck drivers, the Lasters picked through a pile of garbage "five feet high and 40 feet wide," filled with things "you wouldn't even want to know. Dirty diapers, you name it."
Amidst the diapers and grime, Scott Laster recognized an old tire from his neighbor's garbage and knew they were close. Finally, Jim Fisher, one of the truck drivers, discovered the ring.
"The two gentlemen that helped are heroes," Laster said.
The ring is now safely stowed away in the Laster home. It's a rare happy ending to a story in the notorious lost retainer and jewelry genre. The Lasters now know what it feels like to find a needle in a haystack.