Tag Archives: New York City

Trash, debris, or neither? The Nature of Waste During Disaster

Not only do natural (and unnatural) disasters produce a lot of waste, they are also extreme but oddly quintessential events where practices, behavior, and cultures around waste and wasting, as well as their inverse–repairing, fixing, rebuilding–move to the fore. In the weeks proceeding and following the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City and surrounding area, Discard Studies will feature a series of articles about the complexities of disaster and waste, broadly defined. This article looks at the material and emotional nature of waste during disaster.

A history of New York City’s solid waste management in photographs

By the nineteenth century, New York City was persistently and famously filthy. While other urban centers had begun to clean up their streets, approaching vessels could still smell New York far out to sea. Yet,  the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) was founded in 1881 as the Department of Street Cleaning and became one of the […]
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New York City settles with Occupy Wall Street for unconstitutional trashing

By Max Liboiron. Nearly a year ago, I posted about a lawsuit brought against the City of New York by the People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street for trashing thousands of books during the eviction of Zuccoti Park. The story resonated with a lot of people because the destruction of books is seen as a special type of waste […]
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Falling In Love with “This is New York’s Strongest”

We’ve mentioned Lisa Dowda and Liz Ligon before; they are the creative force behind Chasing Sanitation, a website about the lives and labors of New York City’s sanitation workers. This weekend they move beyond the web, into an exhibition opening Saturday in New York. Their work deserves a wide audience. Ligon’s photographs are lush and […]
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Of Landfills, Parks, and Legacies

For the past several years, a consortium of city agencies, community groups, not-for-profit arts and planning organizations, artists, and landscape architects have been working together to create the bright and verdant future of a geography that, not too long ago, was deeply despised. Because of their efforts, Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, once the […]
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One of the best ever

Angelo Bruno was a sanitation worker with New York City’s Department of Sanitation for 31 years. He retired this past spring. He and his partner, Eddie Nieves, did a StoryCorps interview recently; this excellent excerpt was broadcast yesterday on NPR. I’m lucky enough to know both of them. Angelo was proud of his work and […]
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