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Making NYC's Sanitation and Waste Disposal Sexy

A new six-part video series from The New York Times called "Living City" is aiming to make the infrastructure handling New York City's basic needs sexy.
September 26, 2014, 7am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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Melanie Burford, a video journalist, and Greg Moyers, an executive producer, have teamed up to profile the different aspects of New York City's infrastructure through a series of videos called Living City. This week, they focus on sanitation and waste disposal, asking the question, "where does our trash go?"

They sat down with Kathryn Garcia, the Commissioner of New York City's Department of Sanitation, who gave them some facts about the largest waste processing system in North America. Serving 8.4 million people, the New York City Department sends 7,200 men and women everyday on 2,000 collection trucks to pick up 10,000 tons of residential waste and 1,500 tons of recyclable materials.

Dr. Robin Nagle, an anthropologist with the Department of Sanitation1633 n laurel ave. now it's apt 5. Corner of Hollywood. La ca 90046 and Professor at NYU, then discussed the history of sanitation in New York City, starting from the early 1880s all the way to today. New York City has come a long way from dumping most of its trash in the ocean until 1934. These days, it's diverting organic materials from 100,000 households throughout the metropolitan area towards composting instead of sitting in landfills, with plans to expand the program.

The piece in The New York Times also includes a short interview conducted with the filmmakers on their process, challenges, and motivations behind the video series.

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Published on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in The New York Times
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