Garbage man of Queens scores big headline in Queens Tribune!
One Man’s Treasures: Everyone’s Trash
By DOMENICK RAFTER
March 3, 2011
(This story was taken from the Queens Tribune.)
The garage and headquarters of DiMola Brothers Rubbish Removal in Ridgewood could also double as one of the city’s most interesting museums.
Antique license plates and signs paper the walls. Surrounding his desk and the desks of his employees, owner Nick DiMola’s cabinets are full of antique toy cars, matchbooks, trading cards and other collectables. He has covered nearly every inch of his office and garage on Summerfield Street with historic items, nearly all of which he found on the job.
A Queens native, though he now lives on Long Island, DiMola said he started collecting his antiques from the time he was a child.
“You never know what you’re going to find in someone else’s garbage,” DiMola said.
Now, DiMola is showing off his extensive collection on his blog: Trash Treasures of New York (welovegarbage.wordpress.com), which he updates fairly often with new finds.
DiMola’s collection is more than just vintage campaign buttons, old books, money and other antique knick-knacks. It includes letters postmarked from the 1940s, newspapers dating back to that same time period (including an authentic Daily News from July 21, 1969, the day after Apollo 11 landed on the moon) and even a gold tooth. Also in his collection, an antique barber’s chair, an old Coca-Cola vending machine – empty bottles included, 1939 and 1964 World Fair memorabilia – including an original record of “It’s A Small World,” an old cigarette vending machine, a Bingo board, a classic taxicab fare machine and a bus fare collection box dated to when bus fare was only $1.
“We went to clean out the apartment of a bus driver after he died and we found it,” he said.
DiMola’s company does rubbish removal and interior demolition work in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. They do work in both residential and commercial properties and even worked on demolition at the Guggenheim Museum last winter. He said he finds treasures and antiques in almost every job he goes on.
“There’s always something worth keeping,” he said. “What someone considered trash is a treasure to someone else.”
In the back of his garage, DiMola still has some of his findings boxed up, waiting to be shown off. As to what he plans on doing with his collection, he has no plans to move it out of the office, but anyone interested can follow his finds on his blog.
Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at email@example.com or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125.