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New Yorkers' Trash is the Sanitation Department's Treasure

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You know how the saying goes... And apparently even garbagemen think trash can be treasure. The second floor of a sanitation department garage on East 99th Street between First and Second Avenues has been turned into a veritable art gallery of perfectly displayed photographs, paintings, knickknacks, and decor that have been plucked from the household trash of New Yorkers. According to the Times, the 1,000-piece collection was started 20 years ago by Nelson Molina, who gathered interesting pieces from his sanitation route to decorate his work locker.

Soon, his colleagues started bringing him things, then workers from other boroughs would drop things off, and now even building supers will set things aside. Highlights include a stuffed raccoon in a purple cage, a wall of baseball paraphernalia, and a faux-office set up in a crawl space, complete with a computer. So who has the best trash? Molina says he finds "everything" on his route west of Third Avenue between 96th Street and 100th. The department's anthropologist in residence (?!) adds, "The wealthier the neighborhood, the better the stuff that’s thrown away." We could have told you that.
· In a Sanitation Garage, a Gallery of Scavenged Art [NYT]