GQ Interviews the Guy in Charge of Cleaning Up Burning Man

This year, the notorious weeklong event in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada faced challenges due to heavy rainstorms. The intense showers transformed the desert playa into an impenetrable mass of mud, stranding 74,000 participants with dwindling resources. By last week, the final attendees had been evacuated, and the process of restoring the site had begun.

In adherence to a strict “leave no trace” principle, the festival requires all attendees to carry out their own trash. Even in a typical year, there are still remnants of litter, known in Burning Man terms as “matter out of place” or simply “moop.”

Dominic Tinio, the environmental restoration manager of Burning Man, who goes by DA (that stands for “Dark Angel”) first started attending Burning Man in 1997.

Tinio, while in his desert trailer, talked to GQ as he worked on restoring the Black Rock Desert to its original, untouched condition. He has a one-month window following the festival’s official conclusion before the Bureau of Land Management conducts a thorough inspection of the vast area.

Even though Tinio faced an immense undertaking and had experienced some challenging days, he maintained a composed and positive demeanor.

“We started with nothing here And now we’re bringing it back to nothing.”

– Dominic Tinio

You can read Dominic Tinio’s complete interview with GQ right here.