Treasures in the Trash

One city's trash, is everyones treasure.

New York has an entrenched and somewhat mystical entanglement with waste management over the course of its history. For the past 34 years, Nelson Molina, a former DSNY worker has collected and maintained an incredible (but unofficial) museum of 45,000 collected objects that were thrown out to the curb by New Yorkers. The short which follows Molina, offers us a glimpse of the collection. The short is titled, Treasures in the Trash and is directed by New York based filmmaker, Nicolas Heller.

My favorite line from Molina is so poetic:

Before you throw something out, think about. Everything can have a home.

Since the museum resides inside an active garage for the Department of Sanitation, it’s not open to the public. But, that could all change with your help! From the video’s description:

The collection is not open to the public since it is in an active garage, but our hope is to get a proper space with the help of this film. Please visit nycstrongest.org/future-museum to donate!

According to Atlas Obscura, you can also email tours@dsny.nyc.gov to schedule a private tour of the MANEAST11 garage’s collection.

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