Chasing Sanitation

Falling in Love with New York's Strongest

:: Mongo from the Interview with Doz ::

[“Mongo” is San-speak for the stuff you find in and the around the garbage that you want to take home. They can’t, though. They’re not allowed. I’m just sayin’ – there’s a name for it. Mongo. Interview Mongo, however? Not illegal! I didn’t steal anything. Everything below is on-the-record. I swear.]

Johnny’s Stats:

Full Name: John Paul Doz

Age: 41

Residence: Staten Island

Garage: Borough Park

Years on the Job: 10

Title: “Garbologist with a Ph.D. in Recycling, sworn to uphold the Garbage Law of Trash”

Favorite Music: Rush, Journey, (“I’m a musician – I play the drums”), Boston, John Hiatt, Pink Floyd – “did you write down Pink Floyd?”

Favorite Sayings:

1. Progress has no patience.
2. Appeasement only makes the aggressor more aggressive.
3. Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.

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What do you assume about people by what they throw out?

Certain blocks are filthy – bunch of slobs. There’s dirty garbage and clean garbage, you know?

What do people say about Sanitation Workers?

For the most part, they like us – except when they get stuck behind us.

What do you like about the DSNY?

The guys, the job, the freedom.

What do you not like about the DSNY?

Rain is the worst. And disco rice.

What are your favorite movies?

Shawshank Redemption, Jaws, Godfather I and II, And Justice for All

Who takes out the trash at home?


What’s your worst day on the job?

My worst day? Separated from my wife, because of what it did to the kids, but worst day on the job? Hard to come up with … can’t think of a worst day. I like to work. I hate long weekends.

What’s your best day on the job?

Every day. I like working.

What kind of person does it take to do this kind of work?


Are you proud of your work?

[Without pausing] Yes. I’m proud to put on the shirt.

Why do you guys talk so much?

Because we got big mouths – we’re like Jewish women.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Musician. I’m a drummer. [“Who’d you want to play for?” He laughs long and hard.] Jaime Pressly or Shania Twain! [He keeps laughing.]

Who’s got your back? Who do you lean on? Who supports you?

Me. I believe in myself. [thinks] I guess the guys – we support each other.

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