The consumer researchers touring the San Francisco Waste Dump were first given a vivid impression of garbage – without the soothing artful recycling angle – by facility manager Debrorah Munk. Her references to the Eastern Garbage Patch are to be found on www.algalita.org.  It tells the story of the “garbage maelstroms”, said to be discovered by a pseudo biologist from California named Charles Moore. Scientists have known about the terribly interesting phenomenon since the 1980’s, but it was not public knowledge until the 90’s. The Algalita Marine Research Foundation learned that broken, degraded plastic pieces outweigh surface zooplankton in the central North Pacific by a factor of 6-1. That means six pounds of plastic for every single pound of zooplankton. As a result birds and sea animals or looking for food – more often than not are finding plastic. The story doesn’t as yet feature regularly in Marketing 101.




The goal of the Artist In Residence Program at SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc. is to use art to inspire people to recycle more and conserve natural resources. The company provides selected local artists with the opportunity to create art using materials they gather from San Francisco’s refuse. This includes 24-hour access to a well-equipped studio, a monthly stipend, and an exhibit at the end of their residency, but artists seem most excited about having 24-hour access to the materials.

The 2,000-square-foot art studio is located at SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc.’s Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center. The 44-acre site is where most of San Francisco’s garbage and recyclables are temporarily dumped before going to a landfill or recycling plant. Recyclable items are sorted before being shipped to recycling plants and manufacturing facilities.


Throughout a residency, each artist talks to young students and adult tour groups about the experience of turning trash into treasures. At the conclusion of their residency, the company holds a reception for the artists, to show the artist’s work and invites the public. Many pieces of art from the program are exhibited in office building entries and public spaces in San Francisco. Many artists have made a permanent piece for the sculpture garden adjacent to the SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc. Transfer Station and the garden is a key stop for students on recycling tours.

nemo gould junkyard dog


linda rainsford

recalibrating synchronicity

scott oliver new found desire recycled t-shirts





micah gibson





























































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