“What endures is not, in fact, stuff. Nothing endures. Nothing is permanent. All of this ... it’s not here for that long. Or any of us ... we’re not here for that long.”
I heard that 13 years ago at a conference in New York City (Gel 2009). It was shared by Robin Nagle, NYU professor, writer, and anthropologist-in-residence for the New York City Department of Sanitation.
It stuck as one of my memento mori reminders.
If you’re interested, here are the 2.5 minutes where she shares the thought along with some other reflections I enjoy (5:37 – 8:00). I also enjoyed most of the other time too.
I’m not a trash aficionado but this podcast from 2018 is something I really enjoyed. It’s a discussion with New York City’s first Recycling Czar around what happens “from the moment people flush the toilet or toss out their coffee-cup” in the city.