‘A Garbage Story’ featuring Ridgewood’s trash collector to debut at Coney Island Film Festival

Nick DiMola
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

Ridgewood’s resident trash collector, Nick DiMola and his residential and commercial interior demolition and rubbish removal company, will be featured in a documentary film that will debut at the Coney Island Film Festival this Saturday.

DiMola has spent the last three decades digging through other people’s trash after they die with DiMola Bros. Inc., and he has amassed quite a collection of trinkets, gadgets, knickknacks, and anything else he finds interesting.

He now has many of the items he has pulled from the debris on display in his office on Summerfield Street.

“They are little things, but little things here and there come together to tell a story,” DiMola said of his collection. “You kind of create your own museum. The stuff I hand-picked out of the garbage will never end in the trash; it will be either sold or donated to an organization.”

After doing extensive research into DiMola, Rota6 Films decided that DiMola, his company, and his vast collection would be the perfect subjects for a documentary film.

“The first thing we noticed about him was was his charisma. He is a great guy,” said Olivier Bernier, director of “A GARBAGE STORY.” “The more we talked to him, the more we thought it was unique. Cleaning out estates of the deceased, that was even more interesting.”

Benier and Rota6 Film’s content producer Patrick Solomon were given a tour of DiMola’s shop for the film where they saw the thousands of items DiMola has brought back from various jobs cleaning up estates.

“His shop is more like a museum,” Bernier said. “My favorite thing is a corsage-type thing that a girl would wear on a Sweet 16. It’s old and tattered looking, but it was once a part of someone’s life. We could do a full-length film on the things he has collected.”

This idea of breathing new life into an item that was once an important part of someone’s life is the driving force behind DiMola’s desire to pull these things out of the trash and save them.

“A GARBAGE STORY” is an 8-minute documentary that gives viewers a tour of DiMola’s shop, and even follows him on an estate cleanup where he goes through the man’s trash and learns about him just from the items he left behind.

“They got to live the life of Nick DiMola. They couldn’t believe it,” DiMola said of Benier’s and Solomon’s trip with him to the estate cleanup. “They were just blown away when they saw the amount of dust on all the things. We found old coins, beautiful artwork, and old slides. The guy who passed away traveled the world, so he had a lot of great slides. What I do is not just throwing out garbage. You’re taking time to pick up and study the garbage. Garbage tells a lot about a person.”

The film will debut at the Coney Island Film Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9, during the 1 p.m. short film block at the Coney Island Museum.

“This is the first time I am in the film festival,” Bernier said. “It’s super exiting. Being a Brooklyn resident, Coney Island is a crown jewel of Brooklyn. I’m looking forward to seeing all the other films.”

“I never went to a film festival before, so it will be great,” DiMola said. “I am taking my wife and son. I’m excited about it. I have a unique business and the more time I spend looking through garbage, the more interesting things I am able to find.”

If you are interested in seeing “A GARBAGE STORY” at the Coney Island Film Festival, you can purchase tickets here. Also be on the lookout for the film to be available on the Rota6 Films website in 2018.