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Austin Trash Collectors Appear On Big Screen

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

The men and women who pick up your trash are making their way to the big screen in the movie Trash Dance.

The production took one night, involved 24 Austin Resource Recovery employees, an abandoned runway and trucks dancing.

Anthony Phillips blows trash off the streets for the city, and volunteered for the not so average ballet.

He said this was his first reaction: "what is this lady doing? Is this really going to work?"

Later more workers spent their own time on the film.

"It was, 'Anthony, you are break dancing and everyone else we are doing this and it's going to seem like a little battle,'" Phillips said.

KEYE TV found out taxpayers paid for the unlikely spectacle.

"In 2011 a little over $16,000. And in 2012 a little over $6,000," said Cultural Arts Division Manager Megan Crigger.

Crigger says the hotel occupancy tax pays for art projects from theatre to film. 

And guess what? Each year the Cultural Arts Division allocates $5.5 million to movies like Trash Dance.

Crigger argues it's money well spent.

"The film industry alone brings in $280 million annually, generates 27,000 jobs and brings in over $1 million in city tax revenue," Crigger said.

City workers say the movie was a bonding experience and showcases the men and women who do more than pick up trash.

Trash Dance is now playing in theaters for limited engagements, starting in New York, and expanding to select cities nationwide. It will premiere in Austin on May 3-9 at the Violet Crown Cinema.

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By Christie PostAustin Trash Collectors Appear On Big Screen



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