Landfill Diaries is maintained by Marijke Rijsberman, who accidentally fell in love with landfill in 2001, as she sat and watched the sun rise over San Francisco Bay at Candlestick Point. That put her almost on top of the city’s old garbage dump, right next to the current transfer station, poised to notice that endless stream of garbage trucks trundling by.
Authorities refer to garbage as the waste stream, as if, like a mountain brook, it burbles pleasantly to its final destination with no further encouragement besides gravity. The reality is a little different. Watching the sun rise and counting trucks, I finally got it: our garbage is huge and intractable. An almost invisible but very large industry takes care of it, behind the scenes, in places we rarely visit, don’t worry about, and usually don’t inquire into.
Even though our castoffs weigh on the land, it’s still possible just to drag our garbage to the curb every week and never think about it again. These pages are meant to change that situation at least a tiny bit: they examine and trace and pay respects to our invisible garbage. Landfill is not just real, it’s ours. And it is, upon closer inspection, very interesting.