Phillip Gleason: “Is New York becoming part of the garbage problem?”

Philip Gleason and NYU student Maggie Schreiner


Narrator: Phillip Gleason

Interviewer: Maggie Schreiner

Date: March 15 2011

Place: 44 Beaver Street, New York, NY; in Phil’s office.

Duration: 1:39:12





Phillip Gleason is the Assistant Commissioner for Waste Management Engineering at the Department of Sanitation, and has worked on projects related to the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island since 1983. In this interview Gleason discusses the evolution of solid waste management (SWM) policy and practice in New York City from the 1800s to the present; the development, engineering, and environmental control systems at the Fresh Kills Landfill; and the factors and challenges in the final closure of the site.

Gleason considers the role of fiscal crises, environmental awareness, and federal legislation (including the Clean Air Act and the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act) in shaping SWM policy and practice in the city. In discussing the development of the Fresh Kills Landfill in particular, Gleason describes the process of bringing the landfill into environmental compliance and developing permit applications for the legal operation of the site. Also highlighted in this interview are landfill design and infrastructure, including leachate mitigation, gas emission control systems and resource recovery projects.

Fresh Kills in 1912











Audio Clip One:

[audio:|titles=Philip Gleason discusses the Mobro 4000]

Audio Clip Two:

[audio:|titles=Philip Gleason discusses early 20th century solid waste disposal in NYC]

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