A Retired New York Department of Sanitation Employee’s Stunning Collection of Treasures

Nelson Molina—a retired New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) employee—is responsible for one of the NYC’s most eclectic gallery spaces: the top two floors of a 20,000-square-foot active garbage truck garage filled with treasures he found while on the job. Molina collected the discarded objects (posters, toys, vintage electronics, art, memorabilia and more) on his route, which spanned the blocks between 96th and 110th Streets, and First through Fifth Avenue. In this video, shot by VICE and hosted by beloved art critic Jerry Saltz, Molina guides viewers through the vast collection. Molina is a curator, but he doesn’t see it that way. He says, “My mother told me, ‘If somebody can use it, don’t throw it away; put it away.” Saltz says the immense, organized collection is the “found detritus of New York, accumulated as one great design.” Watch the full video on YouTube.