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Needle In A NYC Haystack: Sanitation Workers Help Man Find His Lost Wallet In City's Trash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Filth, junk, and slop… stack it how you want, it all ends up with the New York City Sanitation Department.

"I found everything from jewelry to passports," Louis Guglielmetti, a DSNY supervisor said.

If you accidentally throw something out, you want Guglielmetti on your side.

"I'm finding stuff in the garbage for the last seven years, so I'm good at it."

"Louis has all his methodology, how to narrow it down," lost wallet owner Avrohom Levitt said.

On Thursday, Levitt mistakenly mixed his wallet with garbage he put in a bin on 186th Street.

Luckily, he actually keeps a tracking device in it, but…

"My app said my wallet was lost," Levitt told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Levitt came back to the bin he threw his wallet in on Friday, but by then the trash had already been collected.

He called the sanitation department to see if they could help.

"Once we get the phone call we freeze the truck, the truck does not go out to pick any more garbage up," Guglielmetti explained.

But Levitt couldn't come in until after the weekend.

"First of all, I just have a sense of adventure and curiosity… and the second thing was I actually have a trip to Poland which I'm going tonight and I'd really like to have credit cards when I travel international," the wallet owner explained.

When he got to the depot Monday, a truck and a 2,000-pound pile of trash were waiting for him.

"He came with crocs, no gloves, no boots," the DSNY supervisor said.

"That's when my phone acknowledged 'your wallet has been found,'" Levitt added.

But in which bag?

"He got into the garbage with me and he was there trying to help why because he's just trying to help another person," Levitt said of the devoted sanitation employee.

Fifteen minutes and a lot of filth later, the blue wallet was back.

(Credit: CBS2)

"More than finding my wallet, was appreciating the amazing job the sanitation workers do," Levitt declared.

"We want people to know we're there for them," Guglielmetti told CBS2.

Cash inside – $68.

A new appreciation for his wallet and city workers – priceless.

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