Martin Bellew: “I always describe waste disposal as dynamic”


Narrator: Martin Bellew

Interviewer: Maggie Langlinais

Date: March 22, 2012

Place: 14 University Place, New York City

(Draper Program Offices)

Duration: 1:34

Martin Bellew was born and raised in the Bronx and worked for the Department of Sanitation for twenty-two years. He began on the trucks after college, where he had earned a degree in chemical engineering, and quickly rose through the ranks. He retired as the Director of the Bureau of Waste Disposal, which as a four-star chief is the highest uniformed rank in the department. He saw considerable changes in the field throughout the ’80s and ’90s, due to evolving environmental regulations and political pressures.

In this interview he discusses some of these changes along with issues of waste and recycling. He talks about the changes at Fresh Kills Landfill brought about by the Woodbridge Consent Order, how they were able to close Fresh Kills ahead of schedule, and its ensuing role in the recovery efforts of September 11th.

Excerpt: Periods of Change

[audio:|titles=Audio Excerpt – Periods of Change]

Excerpt: Looking back at 9/11

[audio:|titles=Audio Excerpt – Looking Back at 9.11]

Transcript – Martin Bellew


Full Interview Audio:

Bellew Interview – Part 1 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 2 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 3 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 4 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 5 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 6 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 7 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 8 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 9 / 10

Bellew Interview – Part 10 / 10

Dean Petrelis, Dennis Diggins, Martin Bellew, & Michael Mucci at the New York State Museum in Albany, with a flag recovered from Ground Zero (from DSNY Newsletter, February 2003)




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