NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Nicole Doz spent most of her life as a beauty pageant queen – a first runner up for Miss Brooklyn and Miss Staten Island.

But for all the glitz and glamour, she says she has now landed her dream job.

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“I work for the sanitation department,” she says.

Yes, trashy as it may seem.

“Trashy but classy,” she says.

The 23-year-old from Eltingville decided to make a career in the garbage business, working for the New York City Department of Sanitation. Why?

“What I really like the most about it is that it really shocks people, telling them what I do as my career,” she tells CBS2’s Scott Rapoport. “They would never expect it.”

She says she’s following in the footsteps of her father, Joe, and her uncle, Jayson, who also made careers hauling garbage and cleaning streets. She remembers hearing their stories as a kid and she knew that’s what she wanted to do.

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“They always talked about how it was winning the lottery this job, how great it was,” she says.

It isn’t your typical career path for a beauty queen, but her dad says it works for him.

Right now, she says she’s the only female in her garage – one of only 200 women in the entire department.

Her job is to drive the street sweeper. As a newbie, she works the graveyard shift from midnight to 8 a.m., but she’s thrilled to be there.

As for her beauty pageant aspirations, she says she’s not hanging up her bikini and high heels just yet. She says she can do both.

“Even when I’m too old for pageants, I’m still going to wear the bikinis and the high heels,” she says.

She’s a beauty queen who found a treasured career in trash.

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Doz says she’s hoping to compete in the next Miss Staten Island pageant in January.