Will Walsh: “We’re here for a reason and you don’t want to get killed doing it”


Will Walsh at work


Narrator: Will Walsh and Dawn Toledo-Walsh

Interviewer: Samantha Rijkers

Date: March 24, 2011.

Place: Astoria, NY (Queens) — Will and Dawn’s home

Duration: 1:48

Will Walsh was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and his wife Dawn grew up on the Lower East Side. They now live in Astoria, Queens, where the interview was conducted. Will used to work in retail, but his father and the benefits of the job convinced him to join the DSNY.  He has been a broom operator in Queens since 2006. As a vegetarian and environmentalist, he considers himself somewhat of an outsider within the Department, but he loves his job.

[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/rijkers_walsh_clip.mp3|titles=The Old man and the Snow]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/rijkers_walsh_clip2.mp3|titles=The Dangers of the Job]

Will Walsh, Samantha Rijkers, Dawn Toledo-Walsh

The interview with Will and Dawn discusses safety and danger, (lack of) respect from the public, and the role of the media. Will talked about why he joined the DSNY, the training at Floyd Bennett Field, the importance of the DSNY for New York City, seniority, daily life on the job, accidents, benefits, the Chasing Sanitation exhibit, and recycling. Will is very passionate about his job, especially when talking about politics and recycling, and Dawn talks about what it’s like being the wife of a sanitation worker. They talk about the more serious issues of the job as well as the funny things and interesting people they have encountered in the sanitation department.

[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part1.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 1 of 6]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part2.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 2 of 6]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part3.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 3 of 6]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part4.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 4 of 6]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part5.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 5 of 6]
[audio:http://www.dsnyoralhistoryarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/walsh_part6.mp3|titles=Walsh, Part 6 of 6]

Walsh Transcript

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