Officially, it’s the Waste Pro Garbage Truck Museum. Unofficially, it’s a chance to take in some vehicular history the average public has only a passing acquaintance with. Sure, the lumbering garbage trucks might wake you up in the early morning, and you might be able to draw one if necessary…
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.
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.
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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; the propmasters and producers added the dust and dirt you’d expect to find back in the day.
These 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 years…
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.
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.
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, and Mr. Bill is a great tour guide. If you like weird, offbeat places few have gone before, this is definitely pretty out there.
Directions and details
The Waste Pro Garbage Truck Museum is located at 3705 St. Johns Pkwy, Sanford, FL, 32771. More info at (407) 774-0800 or at wasteprousa.com/truck-museum. Mr. Bill is around to give tours 9am-1pm Monday-Friday. Admission is free, and there’s a free parking lot.