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Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City

Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City

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Hardcover, Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2013, ISBN13 9780374299293, ISBN10 0374299293
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Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.
Charting New York's four-hundred-year struggle with trash, an anthropologist who spent ten years with sanitation workers of all ranks reveals what it takes for the Department of Sanitation to manage Gotham's garbage.

About this item

Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.

Charting New York's four-hundred-year struggle with trash, an anthropologist who spent ten years with sanitation workers of all ranks reveals what it takes for the Department of Sanitation to manage Gotham's garbage.

America's largest city generates garbage in torrents--11,000 tons from households each day on average. But New Yorkers don't give it much attention. They leave their trash on the curb or drop it in a litter basket, and promptly forget about it. And why not? On a schedule so regular you could almost set your watch by it, someone always comes to take it away.

But "who," exactly, is that someone? And why is he--or she--so unknown?

In "Picking Up," the anthropologist Robin Nagle introduces us to the men and women of New York City's Department of Sanitation and makes clear why this small army of uniformed workers is the most important labor force on the streets. Seeking to understand every aspect of the Department's mission, Nagle accompanied crews on their routes, questioned supervisors and commissioners, and listened to story after story about blizzards, hazardous wastes, and the insults of everyday New Yorkers. But the more time she spent with the DSNY, the more Nagle realized that observing wasn't quite enough--"so she joined the force herself." Driving the hulking trucks, she obtained an insider's perspective on the complex kinships, arcane rules, and obscure lingo unique to the realm of sanitation workers.

Nagle chronicles New York City's four-hundred-year struggle with trash, and traces the city's waste-management efforts from a time when filth overwhelmed the streets to the far more rigorous practices of today, when the Big Apple is as clean as it's ever been.

Throughout, Nagle reveals the many unexpected ways in which sanitation workers stand between our seemingly well-ordered lives and the sea of refuse that would otherwise overwhelm us. In the process, she changes the way we understand cities--and ourselves within them.

Specifications

Number of Pages: 280
Original Languages: English
Author: Nagle, Robin
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Publication Date: March, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780374299293
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.00 Inches
ISBN-10: 0374299293
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