The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

November 20, 2007

Recycling part 5: Only in San Francisco

Continuing my visits to SF bay area waste facilities, I took a tour yesterday of the San Francisco MRF (material recovery facility, aka recycling center) and San Francisco “dump.” What I saw looked pretty much the same as at Davis Street and CWS, so I won’t bore you with more photos of sorting machines and baled materials. Instead, I’ll sum up the experience with this little video I put together showing both operations, the clean and the stinky. This video is more detailed than the one I made of the CWS operation:

What you don’t see in this video, what San Francisco has that other recycling and garbage facilities lack (besides being a whole lot bigger) is an artist in residence! Yep, you heard me. San Francisco Dump has an Artist in Residence program. Artists get space at the dump and access to whatever materials they want to use for three-month periods.

Friday night, Michael and I attended a presentation of the SF Dump artists at the Herbst Theatre. The first half of the show included videos created by the garbage artists. And the second half was an amazing performance of the Junkestra Symphony, a musical piece composed and played on pieces of junk, unaltered. None of the “instruments” were cut or changed in any way from how they’d been found at the dump. It sounded great!

Here are photos from Friday night’s performance as well as art displayed in the theater lobby and at the San Francisco dump yesterday. First, photos of the Junkestra after the show. Click on any image to see larger.

These plastic bag dresses were displayed in the lobby during intermission when wine was served which had come from vineyards using compost from SF’s commercial compost facility.

Yes, this dress is made from woven plastic bags!

Here is the artist in residence, Philip Bonner, at home in the studio yesterday, as well as artwork displayed in the lobby of the SF Dump Education Center:

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bali accommodation
13 years ago

Great work…this could be the option to stop global worming to change waste thing become a good thing

15 years ago

I’ve enjoyed your thoughts and video on waste disposal in the Bay Area. If you’d like to venture to the North Bay and be inspired, I suggest you visit the Tamalpais Community Service District. They are doing some amazing things with waste streams and recycling. The United Nations has invited a representative to come to a U.N. meeting in Bali to present to member nations.

terrible person
15 years ago

This reminds me of the lyrics to the “William Tell” overture (aka the “Lone Ranger” theme):
“To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump!”