Being a Garbage Collector is The Best Job Ever

Where Else You Could Find a Mattress Stuffed With £611,000!?

Do you remember the Israeli daughter who made the biggest mistake in 2009? She threw out her mother’s old mattress stuffed with more than $1m and replaced it with a brand new one. Eventually, it turned out the new mattress was the most expensive one in the history and Anat was the worst daughter ever!

Nobody has found the money yet. However, the rumours say a garbage collector in Tel Aviv found the stash and took it. Who knows what really happened, but chances are the rumours might be true

Anat looking for her mother’s “golden” mattress in the local landfill in Tel Aviv Source:

This extraordinary story from Israel made me think about the rubbish collection companies and the people who work for them. They spend most of the day collecting and transporting people’s junk. Words can’t describe the smell of a rubbish removal van, but if you have scented it once, you should know it’s extremely disgusting. Moreover, collecting heavy objects like old furniture and broken refrigerators requires stamina and physical strength. It’s undoubtedly a hard work.

Yet, every cloud has a silver lining. I decided to write about the pros of being a junk collector because we already know the cons (stench, fatigue, filth, etc.). So, let’s start with…

Amazing Things Found in The Trash — The Garbage Museum in New York

What do you think about the garbage collector from the video? Does he look unhappy and bored? I personally think the sanitation worker Nelson Molina is one of the very few lucky people who actually love what they do. He has been building this unique and amazing “Garbage Museum” in NY for the last 29 years. What a great example of how interesting waste collection can be!

Mysterious Barrel With Ancient Mexican Artifacts Worth $16,500

Another great example of a happy rubbish remover is Nick DiMola. The 39 years old professional mover had to clear the Soho apartment of the famous abstract artist Clinton Hill, who died in 2003. There, he discovered a mysterious barrel and took it home. Five years later, DiMola opened the barrel and found out it was full with a lot of ancient Mexican artifacts. Some of the figurines, jugs and bows were very rare and valuable. The total worth of the stash is estimated to be more than $16,000.

Nick DiMola and the art expert Howard Nowes with one of the ancient antiques found by the lucky professional mover. Source:

This lucky guy said something really inspiring about his profession: “There’s always something in the garbage worth money!”. This is another reason why Being a Garbage Collector is The Best Job Ever! You never know what you might find in the trash and how much money you can get for it. This job looks more like a game to me. Too bad I’m too skinny (and I’m a girl), otherwise I would definitely try to be a waste collector for at least a day!

Some Valuable Things That Were Not Meant to Reach the Landfill in London

Oliver Jones, 28-years-old works as a waste collector hired by a rubbish removal company in London. He claims he has found a huge collection of old and valuable matchbox cars. Rubbish Please, the company he works for, has sent him clear an old attic in Central London. After he returned at the company’s storehouse, he showed his boss the unusual find and asked, if he could keep it. The boss agreed. He believed the old, rusty cars had no value. His exact words were “I don’t need more trash, Oliver. Take it!” If only he knew how wrong he was….

Oliver Jones standing next to the junk collection van on a street in London. Source:

On the next day, Oliver got the matchbox cars appraised and found out they were worth about £32,000 - £50,000. Imagine how his boss felt when he realized how expensive the cars were. I doubt it he would ever call something a trash again without thinking about all the money his junk collector has earned!

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Some of the amazing silver antiques find by the author of

There is actually a blog where the author posts Things He Found in The Garbage. Some of the most interesting things I’ve seen there were: A Nazzi Passport…., 5 silver cups, antique salt shakers, some silver dimes, an old silver plate vase and an incense burner ($200), an old English Dictionary published in 1882 ($310), black MyKronoz smart watch ($90 on ebay), a working HP laptop ($70).

The old dictionary from 1882 found by the blogger

The blogger claims he earns about $1500 each month from people’s junk. This is absolutely amazing and surprising to me. People are crazy to throw away such interesting and rare objects in the trash. I will be extremely careful the next time I want to clear my basement. I might be living on top of a gold mine!

For more interesting stories about interesting things found in the garbage, you can take a look at this thread on Reddit: The craziest thing you’ve seen while emptying someones trash?

To sum up, there are many pros of working as a garbage man. You never know what kind of treasure you can find in someone’s trash. If you are lucky enough, at the end of the day, you could bring home a lot of money in the form of unusual objects. Even better, you could actually find real money stuffed in someone’s mattress!

Old German pins from 1928 found in the trash. Image Source:

And what about all the interesting objects and the amazing stories you could find while helping people get rid of the junk in their home or garden? There aren’t many professions which provide such an unpredictable working day to employees.

Think about the stories I’ve shared with you the next time you see a rubbish collector picking up an old piano for instance. On the next day, you might read in the newspapers the extraordinary story of a man who has found a bag full of diamonds hidden in an old piano

BONUS 1: Creative Sculptures Made With Recycled Materials found in the Trash

#1 Horses made from plastic spoons by Sayaka Kajita #2 CD chair by Belen Hermosa #3 Piranha made from plastic trash by the Japanese sculptor Sayaka Ganz
#4 and #5 Two plastic dogs made from discarded toys by the amazing artist Robert Bradford
#6 Genial lamp made with empty ball point pens by En Pieza #7 Ram made with recycled plastic materials by the talented artist Ann P. Smith. All images are taken from the Article 40 Terrific Works of Art Made From Common Trash

BONUS 2: Some of the Biggest Landfills in the World

Puente Hills Landfill in LA (closed in October 31 2013)
Mucking Marshes Landfill in Essex, the UK — one of the biggest landfills in Europe and the biggest one in the United Kingdom
The Biggest Tyre Graveyard in the World. It’s located in Kuwait and is “home” for more than 7 million tires…
Tire fire on April 16, 2012 in Jahra (Kuwait) Source: