Portraits of people in 7 days' worth of their own garbage


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I hate to accuse BoingBoing of exposing its readers to trashy posts, so I will just can it.


It’s all pun and games until someone gets thrown away.


No yogurt containers?

Someone likes (small) oranges, that’s a lot of peels. Maybe they’re juicing.

(That one dude is wearing my shoes, New Balance 623 V2. Not as good as the now-unavailable V1, which were the best daily-wear shoes I’ve ever had. I won’t be buying the V2s again.)

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Dammit, I’ve always want to do something like this, but never did.

I’ve wanted to represent all the garbage produced in a year from a typical, “clean”, upscale, fashionable American. Then juxtapose the American in their fancy garb alongside their mountain of garbage next to that of a typical, supposedly “dirty”, third world African dressed in rags next to a tiny pile of his yearly refuse. It’d also be interesting to include a representation of all the externalities like the pollution via cars and manufacturing of their goods they use and wear also.

Then we see who the real “filthy” people are.


Nearly 90% of the stuff on the photos are recyclables.

Are recyclables still considered garbage? In my mind, garbage is everything that ends at the landfill because you can’t put it in the recycling bin or compost pile.


I was wondering that? Did he include everything that’s to be discarded, no matter how, or just stuff that goes straight in the trash? So, odes it include recylables and compostable material?

Recycling ends up in landfill; just in China…


No, it doesn’t. That’s just a thoroughly debunked right wing myth that’s propped up by a lot of bullshit “think tanks” and online FUD that infects the Google search results.

Recyclables sent for recycling ends up being recycled for the most part. Very little goes to the landfill unless something is terribly wrong with your local facility.



You might find this film interesting, then.

Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home is a documentary about how the family household has become one of the most ferocious environmental predators of our time.

Concerned for the future of his son, writer and director Andrew Nisker takes an average urban family, the McDonalds, and asks them to keep every scrap of garbage that they create for three months. He then takes them on a journey to find out where it all goes and what it’s doing to the world.

From organic waste to the stuff they flush down the potty, the plastic bags they use to the water they drink out of bottles, the air pollution they create when transporting the kids around, to using lights at Christmas, the McDonalds discover that for every action there is a reaction that affects them and the entire planet.


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I’m just glad for all involved that no diaper-wearing child was included…

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A lot of that stuff was garbage all along. Celeste? Domino’s? Pizza Hut? Come on, people.


In a lot of pictures it seems like an awful lot of garbage for just one person. I wonder how people in other developed countries would compare.

When I worked at a very fancy yacht club on an exclusive private island, every so often I would take a drive around the island to see how the 2% lived (don’t think there were any actual 1%ers there but close).

What I remember is that most of these multi-million dollar vacation homes were empty even in the summer. People might use these homes one week of the year. Meantime, they had to have landscapers and maids to maintain the home.

But when there was a family home, you could tell immediately because there would be a giant pile of garbage waiting on the curb.

It was sickening how much these people consumed and strange to see in this otherwise beautiful island.

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