Talks & Events


Sunday, October 10: Dead Horse Bay: The Case for an Archaeology of New York’s Contemporary Past. Archaeological Institute of America, Long Island Society

Friday, September 24: When the “Away” Becomes Real. Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Tuesday, June 29: Garbage in Gotham: History Overlooked and Underfoot. Two Sigma

Saturday, May 8: Waste History. NYC Zero Waste Academy, Sanitation Foundation

Saturday, March 6: The Collective Unseen & the Potential of Visibility. Discarded: Unmasking & Understanding the Waste Stream. 2021 Lear-Conant Symposium, Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, Connecticut College, New London, CT

Tuesday, February 23: Change the Focus: Challenges of Waste Measurement and Management. Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series; Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, Steven Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ


Saturday, October 17: Collegiate Scholars, NYU

Tuesday, October 6 | 6:30-800: New York & Its Garbage — conversation with Martin Melosi, waste historian and author of the first definitive history of Fresh Kills landfill. Gotham Center for New York City History, City University of New York. Free but advance registration requested.

Thursday, October 1: Anthropology Student Club, NYU

Thursday, February 13: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson


Autumn: Presentations to new hires and newly promoted officers, New York City Department of Sanitation

November 20: Rodent Control Academy / New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, New York

May 1: Rodent Control Academy / New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, New York

April 2: Discussant for “The Consequences of Consumption: Waste Management in the Global South” — talk by Simonetta Tunesi, NYU

January 10: Day-long symposium,  Academy for Teachers


November 8: St. John’s University, Queens, NY

October 27: NYU Alumni Day

October 18: Friends Seminary, New York

September 5: Unteachables / Caveat, New York

June 28: Reclaiming Urban Heritage: Forgotten Legacies of Deliberate Geography / Interrogating the Urban / NYU Liberal Studies Summer Symposium / Florence, Italy

June 21: ThoughtMatter Summer Salon / NYC

May 8: New York at Its Core: The Archaeology / Museum of the City of New York

May 2: Rodent Control Academy / New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, New York

April 28: Walking tour of Dead Horse Bay / City Reliquary Museum

April 3: Leadership and the Environment / New York University

March 23: Confrontations with Ephemeral Permanence / Environments of Modernity Conference, Slought Foundation/University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

March 8: Science of the Living City / Pace University, New York


December 12: Victory Boulevard, For Real / Freshkills Park Field R/D, Sunview Luncheonette, Brooklyn

December 1: Epistemological Hazards of Curbside Recycling in the Anthropocene / American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Washington DC

November 18: Shifting the Flow. Freegan Meeting, Judson Church Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson Street, New York

November 6: Presentation to the Sanitation Retirees Association, Staten Island, NY

October 25: Canadian Waste to Resource Conference, Keynote Speaker / Niagara Falls, Ontario

October 19: NYU Liberal Studies Global Lecture Series with China Miéville and Samuel Delany (co-moderator, with Heather Masri) / New York University

October 17: Rodent Control Academy / New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, New York

October 14: Staten Island Transfer Station tour (co-host) / Open House New York Weekend

October 4: Guides Association of New York City / The Bronx

August 21: A Brief History of New York’s Department of Sanitation / DSNY Safety & Training Center, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

June 21: Waste Waterways Boat Tour (co-host & guide) / Open House New York

June 3: Closet Archaeology Exhibition Opening / City Reliquary Museum

May 18: Durst Organization Leadership Retreat / 4 Times Square, New York

May 1: New York City’s Dis-Contents / Getting to Zero, Open House New York / SVA Theater, 333 W 23 St

April 6: Educating for Sustainability / New York University

March 28: Zero Waste Roundtable II / New York City Department of Sanitation

March 26: Treasure in the Trash at the M11 Garage (with Nelson Molina) / Open House New York

February 27: Open House New York Board of Directors / 1133 Broadway, New York


December 16: Commissioners’ Luncheon / City Hall, New York

December 11: Educators’ Seminar Day Keynote Address / Museum of the City of New York

November 21: Moderating Our Pesky Neighbors, Part 3: Rats / Brooklyn Historical Society

November 13: Moderating a Zero-Waste Roundtable I / Queens Museum

October 9: Chinatown Walk & Talk with artist Jean Shin, sponsored by City as Living Laboratory / Chatham Square in Lower Manhattan

October 6: Untold Stories: Sanitation & the September 11 Response / 9/11 Tribute Center, 120 Liberty Street, New York

June 23: Labor, Literature and Landmark Lecture Series / The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, New York (link opens to a video of the talk)

June 10: Lunch and Learn lecture series, New York City Department of Environmental Protection

June 7: Fireside Chat, on behalf of the Museum of the City of New York

April 21: Earth Month Celebration (with Nelson Molina) / Material for the Arts, New York

April 14: Recycling as Faith Practice / College of the Environment, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

March 8: NYU in Ft. Lauderdale / Ft. Lauderdale Country Club, Plantation, FL

February 29: On Becoming a Scholar of Trash / University of Maryland-College Park

February 4: Sagan National Colloquium / Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

January 14: Say It Ain’t Snow! How New York Battles Winter in the Village & Beyond / Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, New York


December 2: The City Reliquary presents Collector’s Night 2015 (with Nelson Molina) / Brooklyn Historical Society

November 18: The Wonder of Waste: Urban Legacies of Collective Forgetfulness / College of Arts and Science Bentson Dean’s Lecture, New York University

November 13: Waste, Sustainability, Environment / Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

October 29: Cultural Heritage and the Wonders of Waste / Smith College, Northampton, MA

October 17 & 18: DSNY Facility Tours: Central Repair Shop, Hamilton Avenue Transfer Station, Manhattan 11 Garage / Open House New York Weekend

September 17: How Brooklyn Works: Trash Pick-up (with DSNY guests) / Brooklyn Historical Society

August 17: Life Along the Curb: Inside the Department of Sanitation / Final lecture in the series Garbage & the City, sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Academy of Medicine, and ARCHIVE Global

July 22: How Street Cleaners Saved the City / Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

July 14: Urban Hygiene & Neglected History / Montclair State University, NJ

June 24: Time~Trash~Treasure: The Challenges of Dead Horse Bay / 5 Gyres, Gateway Marina, Brooklyn

June 10: Game-Changing Initiatives for Solid Waste in New York City / NYS SWANA, Cooper Union

May 5: Rodent Control Academy / NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, NYC

March 7: Producing Waste, Producing Space / School of Architecture, Princeton University

January 13: Solid Waste & Collective Forgetfulness / Open House New York


November 24: Waste Infrastructure as Cultural Heritage / Marymount Manhattan College

October 30: Moral Hygiene & Urban Infrastructure / Barnard College

October 15: How Brooms Let Light into the Slum / Tenement Museum

October 11 & 12: DSNY Facility Tours, Open House New York Weekend

October 10: A Brief History of the DSNY / Sanitation Training Center, Brooklyn

October 9: The Truth in Trash / Q Commons

October 8: Board of Overseers, Graduate School of Arts and Science / NYU

August 12: Getting It Up & Getting It Down / Keynote address, Oral History Summer Institute / Regional Oral History Office, UC-Berkeley

July 17: Go with the Flow: Sanitation & New York’s Waterways / Greenwich Village Society for History Preservation, NYC

June 18: Getting Wasted: The Future of NYC Garbage and Its Impact on Our Urban Environment / Center for Architecture, NYC

May 17: Streets of the Future: The Great Urban Debate  / Panel discussion sponsored by Gizmodo, NYC

May 7: Rodent Control Academy / NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street

April 24: unCOMMON Salon Series @ the Research Commons  / Bobst Library, NYU

March 20: Invisible Trash: Exploring New York City’s Garbage / Atlas Obscura, Brooklyn, NY

March 13: Cityscapes Seminar / Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

February 27: Department of Anthropology, Temple University

February 26: Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

February 5: Keep America Beautiful National Conference / Charlotte, NC

January 30: Winter’s Here? Snow Way! / Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, NYC

January 8: Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board / One Bryant Park, NYC


December 6: Urban Futures: Ethnographies & Histories / Department of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

December 5: Humanities Initiative at NYU (with DSNY Commissioner John Doherty)

November 25: Bookbug Bookstore / Kalamazoo, MI

November 24: American Anthropological Association Annual Conference / Chicago, IL

November 14: Center for Urban Environmental Reform / CUNY Law School

October 28-29: Wabash College / Crawfordsville, IN

October 24: New York Public Library / Mid-Manhattan Branch, 455 Fifth Avenue, NYC

October 10: National Writers Union / Live webcast interview

October 3: Civic Service Forum / Parsons The New School, NYC

September 29: Freshkills Sneak Peak / Freshkills Stories Oral History; walking tour, Freshkills Park, Staten Island, NYC

September 26: How Sanitation Saved New York / 80 Lafayette Residence Hall, NYU

September 24: History of NYC Sanitation / 300 West Block Association, St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church, NYC

September 20: TED Talk / The Times Center, NYC

August 13: Trash Talk: An Evening with NYC Sanitation / Museum of the City of New York

July 18: “You Can’t Dump That Here!” A History of Sanitation in New York / Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, NYC

June 12: Citizens Budget Commission / 33 West 81 Street, NYC

April 29: Commentator, “Trash Dance” documentary film / reRun Theater, Brooklyn & April 25, Monroe Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC

March 28: Celebrating the Women of Sanitation / Municipal Building, 1 Center Street, NYC

March 26: Rodent Control Academy / Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, NYC