9. The Department of Sanitation Has an Art Gallery in East Harlem
In East Harlem at DSNY Sanitation Garage 11 on 99th Street between First and Second Avenues is a trash collection that would rival Ariel’s treasure trove in The Little Mermaid. Nelson Molina has been curating trash for over thirty years for the “Treasures in the Trash Museum,” as he calls the collection, housed in the sanitation garage. The collection features over 50,000 “found items” that Molina gathered during his time with the Sanitation Department.
Molina says that more than 90 percent of the objects were collected from his DSNY route in Manhattan’s 11th District, between 96th Street and 110 Street and between 1st and 5th Avenues. The items in the museum are laid out and organized into themes, including a table of typewriters, a section with baseball paraphernalia and a variety of chairs. The DSNY is currently in the process of finding a new home for “Treasures in the Trash.” See more photos inside the gallery here.