Archive for Case 4: Street Basket Waste

reclaiming my trash

Street waste team and all their “reclaiming space” talk, got me thinking about my own bins of garbage outside my house. I take my trash to the can on the curb. It is “out of site out of mind”… until I see a modern day “picker” go through it. I often witness these brooklyn “pickers” go through my piles of plastic bottles and cans and feel quite uneasy. It is MY garbage. Ha. I suddenly feel a strong ownership of that trash, trash that just an hour ago I dumped in the can w/o a care in the world. Couldn’t care less where it was going and what would happen to it.  I guess, I wanted it handled by an official garbage representative. In fact, now I see, how those “pickers” will most likely do a much better job of proper recycling the bottles. Anyways, my attitude has shifted. I will now smile at the unsolicited men and women sorting out my trash :)



thinking about trash + space

Last night’s presentation got me thinking about the street, the trash receptacle, and the spaces in between. As Cindy shared in class, the frustration of carrying around a piece of trash, whether it be plastic food packaging or an empty M&M’s bag, looking for a place for disposal. Holes and crevices around the city sometimes end up as informal places where garbage gets tucked into.


IMF implications in developing nations

by cindy

S.O.: great job last night.  if you are interested in learning more about the IMF policy impact on developing nations – in particular local food production –  you should check out this documentary about just this topic in jamaica:

it is extremely informative on the topic and very well done in general.



Heritage of Splendor

By Jen

Al Gore has nothing on Ronald Reagan.

The whole thing is really interesting (The third grade litterbug art contest is amazing), but here are some relevant quotes:

5:15: “…The litter problem seems to get worse, sadly and ironically because of scientific advances in modern living…the art of modern packaging has helped to make our outings even more enjoyable. Almost anything we need is conveniently available. But it is these wonderful packages, thoughtlessly discarded, which we convert to litter.”

11:17: “The need has become critical to protect and preserve the lovely land we hold in trust for future generations. The time has come to do something. And by a strange paradox, this is really the easiest of all national problems to solve. Instead of going into the ground or into the water, discards go into a litterbag…”

12:43: “We should remember that group effort is simply individual effort multiplied.”

14:00: plug for Keep America Beautiful

The Crying Indian

More about the Keep America Beautiful campaign and how we’ve been  taken in.

“How an environmental icon helped sell cans  – and sell out environmentalism.” Ginger Strand



by cindy

Finally watched this movie last night.  It is really great.

In its own way the film covers so many of the ideas that we have discussed in class over the semester: the practice of gleaning, the process by which waste policy can be formalized by outsiders, the contents of trash as a reflection of a culture’s ideas and values, trash as the great equalizer (the trash of the rich mixing with the trash of the poor), the social judgements projected upon those who process our garbage, etc.   It leaves the attentive viewer with a lot to think about on the topic of waste management without becoming a didactic work on the subject.

Of course the film is equally about the transformative power of art and the evolution of the artist through the process as well.

The narrative reminded a bit of the Oscar winning film “Born into Brothels”.   While uplifting on one hand, Born into Brothers had did have some problematics around the lens in which it was observed, ie: western white eye goes to Indian brothels, uplifts street kids through art, sells art to rich white people.)  Wasteland is a bit less problematic in this regard since the subjects are adults (less inherently exploitable) and because they are being observed by a native of their culture and background.   I appreciated that aspect of the film making as well.

It’s worth a watch for sure.