Giving garbage its due

Giving garbage its due

My new issue of Orion Magazine came in the mail a few days ago. One of the features is a photo essay in which the artist took pictures of the insides of people’s refrigerators, revealing their eating habits through the packaged foods and bunches of kale and takeout containers that populate the shelves. I wanted to share it with you, so I went to the Orion website, but it’s not posted yet. Instead, I found this.

I love the concept: photographing everything you throw in the garbage for an entire year. It’s a great way to frame the topic of waste, and you can see the portraits as a kind of bittersweet celebration of the resources that make up all those objects about to meet the landfill. (I’m not quite sure why Tim Gaudreau isn’t recycling those beer bottles and orange juice containers, but perhaps he couldn’t avoid tossing them.)

It’s unclear whether the photos shown on the site are just a selection, or actually represent all this guy’s garbage for a 365-day period. If this is the sum total, count me impressed—I know my "garbage yearbook" would be much lengthier.

I also know it would include stuff that I’d really be embarrassed about. Stuff like paper coffee cups that I acquired even though I had a reusable mug with me at the time (there’s something about the clean white cup that I really like, oddly).


What garbage of yours would you be a bit ashamed to memorialize? How many trash portraits do you think you’d have to take over 365 days?