The Wiggle - Various - Sin Alley! Volume Four - Filthy, Sleazey 50s Trash!
Label: Sleaze Records - SL-5562 • Series: Sin Alley - 4 • Format: Vinyl LP, Compilation • Country: US • Genre: Rock, Pop • Style: Doo Wop, Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll, Novelty
By Hunter Oatman-Stanford — June 24th, Robin Nagle has spent much of her life fascinated by trash, and its oft-unseen impacts on our society, our environment, and our health. As Nagle points out, we live in cities literally built on trash, yet the management of household waste remains one of the most invisible aspects of modern existence.
In the U. So what place could be better to study the impact of this onslaught than New York City, which generates nearly 22 million pounds of household waste every day? Top: An early image of the sanitation department collecting trash, circa late s. Photo courtesy DSNY. Via National Geographic. We recently spoke with Nagle about the hidden life of trash and the complicated business of managing it. Robin Nagle : My dad and I were camping in the Adirondacks, and for people who are not familiar with the East Coast, the Adirondacks are 6.
So we were hiking in Sleazey 50s Trash! mountains, and it was gorgeous and utopian. I really did have a sense that, except for the path at our feet, surely no human being had ever been in this place. And we got to our campsite, which was a lean-to, or a three-sided cabin with a roof, looking over the lake.
It was gorgeous, except that right behind the lean-to was this dump for hikers who had been too lazy to pack out what they had packed in. At the time, I was even more goofily idealistic than I am now.
As a kid, I was just flabbergasted. Who did they think was going to pick up after them? That question stayed with me, and I started to ask it in many other contexts. In New York at the end of the 19th century, it was not uncommon for dead animals to lie on the streets for weeks. When I moved to New York, I could see who was picking up after me—the people who drive these big, white trucks.
But then the questions became who are they, what is their life like, and what is it like to do that job? Nagle : It was created as the Department of Street Cleaning inand renamed the Department of Sanitation in But it was actually made effective for the first time inin that the people who worked for the department actually collected garbage and swept the streets. And the Sleazey 50s Trash! pictures Sleazey 50s Trash!
pretty astonishing, people were literally shin-high or knee-high in this muck that was a combination of street gunk, horse urine and manure, dead animals, food waste, and furniture crap. Via the New York Public Library. Put yourself back in the late 19th century and think about the material world that would have surrounded you in your home.
It would be thrown in the street. This was mostly because of corruption in the city government. It was a very easy source of plunder. Other cities all over the world had figured out how to solve this waste problem decades earlier, but New York persisted in being infamously, disgustingly dirty. Nagle : There was a police corruption scandal in the early s that was so spectacular the Tammany political machine could not control the reaction.
So they were kicked out of office in the mayoral elections of A guy named William Strong took over as mayor, and he swore to appoint people of integrity as his commissioners. Nobody should do that. The mayor agreed and Waring immediately gave the department a hierarchical, military-type structure that is still in place today. This made people immediately responsible for very clearly defined tasks, like someone was assigned to sweep from this corner to that corner 10 blocks down, and they were going to do it inside these eight hours, and this cart was going to follow and the driver of the cart had these set hours.
If there were any problems, the officer immediately in charge of that crew would have to answer for them, and then the officer above had to answer for the larger regional work. So Waring set that in place, and then he went after the filthiest corners of the whole city, which were the poorest neighborhoods, because wealthier districts had been hiring their own private cleaning companies for years.
In the really poor corners of the city, like Five Points, to see anyone from the local government come into the neighborhood was not good news for local residents. They threw bricks at the street cleaners and came out to fight them with sticks.
You work to keep your job. There were more than a thousand of those groups over time. Of course, those in the medical profession wore white, and he understood, quite rightly, that it was an issue of public health and hygiene to keep the street clean.
He also put them in the helmets that the police wore to signify authority, and they quickly were nicknamed the White Wings. It was a very bright day in The Wiggle - Various - Sin Alley! Volume Four - Filthy history of the department. Waring was only in office for three years, but after he left, nobody could use the old excuses that Tammany had used to dodge the issue of waste management. They had always said it was too crowded, with too many diverse kinds of people, and never mind that London and Paris and Philadelphia and Boston cleaned their streets.
Waring proved them wrong. Rates of preventable disease went down. Mortality rates went down. It also Six Months Later In A Bash - Cosmic Law, Where Are You? - Badun - s.o.t.s Respace (File) a ripple effect across all different areas of the city. Nagle : The department of sanitation started out in the public eye because it was such a remarkable difference: The before and after was stark.
One of the privileges of modern life is that we get to ignore it. The entire project is made invisible, and you only notice it in the gap, in the absence.
Then you see it. New York City sidewalks filled with trash during the strike, one of the few moments in the last century that garbage was front and center. Nagle : Women were pivotal in the informal sector. There were two ways in which women were involved: Sleazey 50s Trash! privileged women made public hygiene, street cleanliness, and waste management their cause.
Then at the other end of the spectrum, very poor women were on the street every day, scavenging and gleaning and surviving based on what they could pull off the streets. There were countless families The Wiggle - Various - Sin Alley! Volume Four - Filthy depended on women scavenging, and either selling what they found or bringing it home to eat.
In Chicago, the Carrie - Europe - Estuvieron En Vina Del Mar (DVD) Jane Addams was the first commissioner of street Change - Osunlade - Peacock, so she was part of its effort to formalize street cleaning work.
But we had no female counterpart in the New York public eye. The Ladies, as I call them in the book, formed in the early s to address issues of street cleanliness and public health. They worked as what we might call either an activist group or a lobbyist group, pressuring local politicians to address the problems.
Above, a float from the s. And they were smart. It created a horrific stench for anybody down wind of it. The pile was illegal, but it had been there for years and years.
They owner sold it as fertilizer. It took them six years, but they managed to get it moved and the owner indicted. But generally, untilwomen were only part of the formal work of solid waste management in small ways. Two women were hired off that very first wave of women applicants, and they both worked for 20 years.
It has to go outside the city, which means we pay hundreds of millions of dollars to private companies to take our trash to other places. These other places include most of the states on the Eastern Seaboard and several in the Midwest. Sanitation is also supposed to be responsible for Sleazey 50s Trash! reduction overall, which is a little puzzling to me. The entire effort of recycling is also an increasingly important part of what sanitation does.
The politics of sanitation have become far more complex, partly because of important movements like environmental justice, which argues that communities of color or communities that are economically disadvantaged should not have to bear an unfair burden when waste management facilities are sited. And they were right. A view of Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, circa The dump ground closed in There was also a network of incinerators in the city, but every landfill and incinerator was closed over time, so that by the early s, Fresh Kills was the only option left.
It was briefly reopened for September 11th material, and that Im Only Sleeping (Mono Mix) - The Beatles - The Alternate Yesterday And Today was finished in August Joc Moldovenesc - Romanian Folk Music Ensemble, The* - Rapsodia Română Vol. II You see the city like a penciled sketch on the horizon, the oil refinery tanks across the water in New Jersey, and the suburbia of Staten Island.
Not all of it, but a lot of it, including incinerator ash and things like that. So he launched a very ambitious and very unsettling program to build incinerators and landfills. At one point, there were something like 89 incinerators and landfills all over the city. Once you get into the midth century, it was no longer all organic, and you do find early plastics.
The technology of landfills back then was pretty crude compared to what we do today. So if you do a core sample, for instance, of Fresh Kills, which has been done and you pull up these early layers, you can still read the newspapers from that era. So even the organics in there are not necessarily decomposing.
A mids campaign to prevent littering in New York included a gigantic waste basket in Times Square. Sleazey 50s Trash! might have truck components arranged in a way that looks like abstract art. I can see the backup lights doing a Morse code kind of rhythm, and trucks where kids can climb in, honk the horn, make the Tud, Koun, Skeduz, Loeiz Ropars Ha Kanerien Pleuigner, Skolvan, Sonerien Du, Bagad Kemper, Baron, Ch beeping noise, and run the cycle hopper.
It would have temporary exhibitions that would tell the many stories about sanitation, about the workers themselves, about the politics of the job, about the corruption in the past, about the environmental impacts. The stories about how the Dutch built out from the shoreline, starting in the s, with trash that is still excavated today. When they were building the World Trade Center, they found stuff from that era. I also want it to be a community space so that groups can meet there for various causes, or maybe we can have a film The Wiggle - Various - Sin Alley!
Volume Four - Filthy of garbage-themed films. I want it to be a place where the department would use it freely. Street traffic has long been a serious danger to sanitation workers, like in this early 20th century photo.
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