5 surprising items that were mistakenly thrown away

Sparkly diamond ring on a white table

A prosthetic leg…a ring…a kidney…say what? We throw junk away every day, but have you ever tossed something by accident? Perhaps you’ve never thrown away something that valuable, but others have. Here are some strange-but-true stories about discarded items that should never have been destined for the dump:

Artificial leg

How does this happen? There was an account of a Florida man seen digging through the dump for his prosthetic leg. It seems his wife accidentally threw it out! Luckily for the man, he managed to find it.

Wedding ring

A veterinarian from Oklahoma City lost his wedding ring while performing surgery on a dog. He had taken the ring off and placed it on a table and it somehow got thrown away. But that didn’t stop him from searching for it at the dump. Incredibly, the man managed to find his wedding ring. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we experienced a similar story where a customer asked us to remove a piece of furniture that she forgot contained her rings. When she later realized what had happened, she frantically called us to see if we still had the item. The franchise owner went through the entire truckload of junk and managed to retrieve the rings!

Lottery tickets

A man from Pennsylvania accidentally threw away not one, but twenty-five lottery tickets, each worth $50,000. His total loss was $1.25 million! The man would play the same numbers every day but didn’t always cross-reference to see if he’d won. 


Back in 2013, a nurse from Ohio threw out a kidney. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, she mistook the kidney for medical waste during an unfortunate kidney transplant.

Valuable art

A cleaning lady at an Italian art gallery threw out a number of expensive art pieces when she mistook it for garbage. Granted, the modern art–including pieces of cookies–was supposed to look like trash, considering it was intended to make an environmental statement. It was a costly mistake–the pieces were estimated to be worth roughly $15,000!

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