From Trash To This – Colombian Garbage Man Builds Library Off of Junked Books

From trash to something useful for everyone

The world will be a better place if everyone starts recycling.

Breathing life to an old and discarded stuff can help put to brand new use things we often neglect and put on trash. But, not for this garbage collector from Colombia.                 In fact, he has put to good use the junk and trash he has collected. He put up a library for children in his locality.


But, you might ask, where did he got all these books?

Simple – the trash.

A couple  decades ago, Jose Alberto Gutierrez found a copy of the classic hit novel Anna Karenina in a garbage bin. That was then he started his wonderful obsession with books.

Today, Jose Alberto – now 55-year-old, has more than 25,000 books stacked on the ground floor of his home which he keeps open to the public as a free library.

As the garbage collector man’s collection has grown, so has his fame.                         The other drivers who used to think that Jose was crazy, now helps out, bringing him whatever books they discover in the trash.

The local newspaper in Colombia headlines calling him the “Lord of the Books” which has brought in more donations to his humble public library.

Jose Alberto shared:

“Lots of people mocked me. They would laugh when they found out about my project. But now 20 years later, they are amazed,” says Jose adding that “my dream is to exchange my garbage truck for a truck full of books, and travel the country.”

Wow, this man made a real difference! How about you, what good have you done lately for the children and your community?


Share Jose’s amazing story & spread good vibes!