- Special Projects
On a frigid January night in Queens, the wood-panelled society clubhouse was full of people preparing for one of the most important tests they would ever take. New York’s sanitation worker exam was only three weeks away and there was little time for small talk.
More than 40 exam applicants sat in rows of faded plastic chairs, shuffling through practice materials and asking what it was like to pick up the city’s garbage. A group of stern-faced members from the African-American Benevolent Society (AABS) – all current or retired sanitation employees – stood up front and told them that the job could be tough, but the pay is steady and the pension is excellent.
“Once you’re hired, you’ll get a check for the rest of your life,” said Superintendent Lyle Reid.
What do gourmet ice cubes, the human microbiome and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge have in common? Water.
On this edition of AudioFiles, we explore how co-operative businesses helped the Rockaways get back on its feet after Sandy. We look at how plastic bags and other trash from the Bronx River ends up in our food, and how rogue scientists and engineers are designing infrastructure that can protect cities from rising tides. We’ll also hear music from our in-studio guest, Selam.
Producer: Gwynne HoganAssistant Producer: Julia Alsop
Host: Reem Nasr
Stories by: Allegra Abramo, Natalie Abruzzo, Caroline Lewis, Danny Lewis, Roxanne Scott, Minda Smiley and Steve Trader
For more information about AudioFiles: http://www.audiofilespodcast.com/
At cash-strapped NYCHA, it’s good to be a plumber.
Take Housing Authority plumbing supervisor Robert Procida.
In fiscal year 2014, Procida earned $232,459 — more than NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye ($210,000) and even more than Mayor de Blasio ($225,000).
This story was reported in conjunction with the New York Daily News as part of theStop the Mold project, funded in part by the first Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. Contributors include Allegra Abramo, Natalie Abruzzo, Julia Alsop, Frank Green, Gwynne Hogan, Ross Keith, Roxanne Scott, Melisa Stumpf and Maria Villasenor.