Vintage

He Filled A Museum Antiques Rescued From New York's Trash

There are lots of great museums to visit in New York City. There's the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and even the Brooklyn Museum. But there's one secret museum hidden in East Harlem you may not have heard of.  

The Treasures in the Trash collection is the work of Nelson Molina, a sanitation worker who dug through the trash for over 30 years to find the hidden gems that people threw away.

Nelson started keeping a few interesting items in his locker at work, but his collection grew fast. Now, it takes up a whole floor at a warehouse owned by New York's sanitation department.


You can find a little bit of everything in Molina's collection, from rows of antique chairs and rare guitars to strange knick knacks. There's no way to put a price on everything - and most may really be worthless - but everything on display was important enough to Molina that he decided to pull it out of the garbage pile and give it a new home.

There are a few real treasures on display, like an original Fender guitar somebody decided to throw out.

And Nelson even found this one of a kind memento, a Star of David made of steel from the World Trade Center.

Most of Molina's finds can be described as "unique" but not rare. He chooses art based on whatever catches his eye.

And toys are a big hit.

And it seems like people in New York throw out a lot of tableware.

The museum is mainly for sanitation workers, but they do offer a few guided visits every month. If you're interested, you can send an email to tours@dsny.nyc.gov to find out when the next tour will be.

What do you think of this museum? Share this post if you'd love to visit someday!

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