Queens’ “Obsessed Garbage Collecting Lady” Blogs About Trash

November 20, 2014 | Prachi Gupta

Don’t be too surprised if, somewhere between Elmhursts’s Woodside Avenue and 73rd and 74th streets, you spot the Obsessed Garbage Collecting Lady. DNAinfo has profiled Jen Mantovani, a four-year Elmhurst resident who has taken to dutifully patrolling the messy streets with the desperate hope that someone, somewhere, will notice the garbage and, like her, clean it up.

After moving to the Queens neighborhood, Mantovani noticed that there’s a lot of trash strewn about — which, she says, is due to inadequate supply of public trash cans in the area. She spends as much as two hours a week collecting and chronicling the mess others leave behind. Then, she posts it on her blog, where her self-deprecating moniker comes from. It’ not for art. It’s a public service and a cry for others to help.

Here’s a sampling of some nasty stuff she’s documented recently:
-A stack of Activia yogurt cartons
A Ziploc bag of blunt remnants
-An empty bottle, condom box, and condom wrapper
Torn up underwear
Cardboard boxes
Offensibly bad art

However, there’s one that even she is unwilling to touch: “Elmhurst water balloons,” which are, according to DNAinfo, “bags and bottles of what she presumes is urine.”

(Photo: Bart Everson)