Officially, it’s the Waste Pro Garbage Truck Museum. Unofficially, it’s probably the biggest collection of its type.
I know, I know, you’re coming to Florida for beaches and all sorts of other places. Why on earth would I go out of my way to find a place that barely gets any visitors? Come on — this is chance to take in some vehicular history the average public has only a passing acquaintance with. Sure, the lumbering trucks might wake you up in the early morning, and you might be able to draw one if necessary…
A highlight, as seen above, is the Dunn coal and oil truck, circa 1921 — a chain driven truck that’s probably one of the oldest ones around. The curator, an older gentlemen called Mr. Bill by the staff, knows a little something about every truck on display. Let him lecture a bit, whippersnappers, and you’ll learn something interesting. He’s not the fastest mover in the field, but that’s beside the point.
If you like weird places in Florida, I have a whole guidebook of them. Check out What the Florida for over 90 offbeat, bizarre, and unique places around the state.
It’s not just about old trucks, of course — two trucks on display were used in the Denzel Washington film Fences. Mr. Bill mentioned the trucks were from the same 1950’s era of the movie, and were delivered in pristine condition. Naturally, a pristine-looking garbage truck would have stood out, so the propmasters and producers added the dust and dirt you see above.
These two trucks aren’t quite side-by-side, but you can still see how much larger trucks have gotten over the decades. We can’t ignore the fact that the amount of trash we throw away has also gotten larger over the last 50 years or so…
The collection is described as a labor of love by John Jennings, the CEO of Waste Pro, Inc. A 1926 GMC flatbed, for example, was the truck Michael Jennings (the CEO’s father) originally worked on. A 1975 Ford truck was one of John’s first purchases; it was tracked down, repurchased, and restored to be a part of the museum. It’s certainly a challenging field since old trucks were usually disposed of or broken down for parts — after all, if it wasn’t operating, it wasn’t making you money.
“We may be trashy / but, oh so classy”. Not sure what text you’d expect to have on the front of your garbage truck, but I like it.
Seen on the back rear side of a truck, it’s a reminder to the loader that the driver wouldn’t be able to see them.
Go on, get your pictures of you pretending you’re driving inside a truck.
Head over to the shop, in a separate room, holds another dozen or so trucks, and Mr. Bill made it sound like a larger space was in the works.
A close-up of the hood ornament — even decades on, it’s a classy touch.
As of right now, the site is still pretty unknown to tourists. It’s located in an industrial park of a small town (Sanford is 25 miles / 40 kilometers north of Orlando), and there’s no signage indicating anything of the kind is there. That said, the staff are very welcoming of the few tourists they receive. If you like weird, offbeat places few have gone before, this is definitely pretty out there.
Ready to dive deep into Florida’s offbeat, bizarre, and unique places?, I have a whole guidebook of them. Check out What the Florida for over 90 places around the state.
Name: Waste Pro Garbage Truck Museum
Address: 3705 St. Johns Parkway, Sanford, FL, 32771 (GPS: 28.802703, -81.311355)
Directions: From I-4 East, take exit 101B-101C for FL-46 toward Sanford/Mt Dora, then turn right onto FL-46 E (look for signs pointing you to the Sanford Historic District). Go about 1.5 miles (2.7km), then turn right onto Aero Lane. Drive to the T, then turn right onto St. Johns Parkway. Look for the Waste Pro office / parking lot on the left, then park anywhere you can.
Hours: 9:00am-1:00pm Monday-Friday
Phone: (407) 774-0800
Ratings out of 5 globes (How do I rate destinations?)
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
Like this post? Like the Facebook page!
Also published on Medium.