200712dsny.jpgMetro has an interview with NYU professor and Department of Sanitation anthropologist-in-residence, Robin Nagle. The piece comes on the cusp of “Loaded Out: Making a Museum,” an exhibition Nagle helped curate which focuses on the DSNY's history and its vital role in shaping the city. The exhibit opens tomorrow and will run for a full month, but she mentions this is just the first step in creating a Sanitation Museum.

Police and firefighters have museums. Why not sanitation?
It’s long overdue. The department is kind of a victim of its own success. For the most part they do the job so well, you don’t have to think about them. It’s as if they’re forgotten. Sanitation personnel are used to being disregarded, so they forget to celebrate themselves.

Nagle also stresses that the history isn't the only important part of the department, but the present day workers are what really make things happen, stating, "I’m not saying these guys are heroes, but sanitation workers are three times more likely to be killed on the job than police or firefighters. When sanitation workers are killed they get three inches in the paper, but police or firefighters get the front page."

As for the future museum, Nagle has been eyeing a garage on Canal Street by the West Side Highway that "was built as a stable for the Department of Street Cleaning. We grew out of that department when Sanitation was formed in 1930."

Photo of Recycling in New York in 1909.