“We were the first ones there. And not only were we the first; we were the best. You know? We were the first responders in areas that nobody knew about– like I went to Sheepshead Bay and Arlene Avenue. It’s strange because if you’re driving up and down it, you wouldn’t notice them. But there were maybe a couple of dozen small houses. Nobody else knew they were down there. Our sanitation guys knew where every little nook and cranny was.”
Held in honor of Frank Justich, a NYC Sanitation worker killed on the job in Astoria in 2010, the event will feature a discussion with Professor Robin Nagle (author of Picking Up, and the anthropologist-in-residence with the NYC Department of Sanitation), as well as presentations by the NYC Commissioner of Sanitation, John Dougherty, and conceptual artist, Mierle Laderman Ulekes (artist-in-residence with the NYC Department of Sanitation), and youth activists representing future generations. The event is the first in CUER’s planned series focusing on trash as a lens for considering issues of sustainability. The focus of the evening’s conversation will be on trash as an issue of inter-generational equity, and the need to recognize sanitation workers as the front line of urban sustainability.