By Marijke

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.

Marijke, Garbage Expert

Marijke, Garbage Expert


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.


10 Responses to “About Landfill Diaries”

  1. January 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    A highly impressive and artistic look at what we all take for granted. Keep up the great work. I for one will be checking in regularly.

  2. January 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I came across this blog when I typed into Google: “I can’t stop thinking about landfills.”

    I have been thinking about them and seeing everything in one and obsessed with the amount of waste being produced by just a family of two for WEEKS. It’s killing me from the inside out. I have yet to determine if your site is self-medicating or only dragging me deeper into the pit of my own environmental impact.

    Either way, thank you for showing me that I am not alone.

  3. April 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    You have a very informative blog here. Thanks for letting me know about it. Very interesting!

  4. 8 tazod
    July 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Every since childhood taking our trash to the local dump intrigued me how we dispose of everything. Now living it Naples Italy I truely see what life would be like if we had no or minimal refuse service and everyone disposed of there own stuff; you would just have piles of it everywhere. It seems the mentality of “out of sight out of mind” doesn’t quit play here as you see it everywhere. It is more like as long as it is not at my front gate its out of mind.

    This is very intersting blog

  5. July 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

    This process consumes very little energy and is much profitable.
    Potomac e – Scrap LLC, one of the leading privately held independent scrap recycling company which assists many organizations everywhere
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    These are considered to be important instructions
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  6. 10 BC
    July 11, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Hi – are you still writing this blog?

    I’m trying to find out if there are any landfill in NA that allow people to scavenge? You seem like a wealth of landfill information so thought you might be able to help?

    Hope to hear from you,



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