From the Archives: Brilliant Minds of Trash and Sewage

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Jan 16 2024 • 39 mins

As we prepare to launch our fourth season at iHeartRadio, we’re revisiting some of host Alec Baldwin’s favorite episodes from the archives. In this episode, Alec digs into the minds behind the processing of the 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater, 16 million pounds of trash and eight million pounds of recyclables that New York City produces every day. Pam Elardo is the former Deputy Commissioner of New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, leading the city's Bureau of Wastewater Treatment. Ron Gonen was New York City's first "Recycling Czar" and now thinks about the problems of waste-management from the perspective of a businessman: he's the CEO of a major investment fund looking for the Next Big Idea in recycling. Pam and Ron walk Alec through what happens from the moment people flush the toilet or toss out their coffee-cup -- and they talk about the big-picture environmental impact of our choices. And since this is Here's the Thing, Alec also learns the incredible life stories each one brings to the job -- from Pam's persistence in the face of the sexism that discouraged women engineers of her generation, to Ron's luck stumbling into the home of a prominent environmentalist while doing housework to make ends meet for his family as a kid.

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