We throw all kinds of things away without really thinking about it. These five stories take a look at where our trash goes, the creative things that people do with it, and even question what it means to throw something away. First, a story about small-scale composting and the worms who do it. Next, a story about what to do with all your old scraps of fabric lying around. Third, how what’s left in a city dump can provide inspiration for an art movement. Fourth, behind the scenes at an estate sale. And last, a short story about bringing a box of forgotten photographs back to life.



Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producers: Hannah Krakauer, Lydia Santos, Killeen Hanson, Laura Chao, Rebecca Pfiffner, Matt Larson, Kasiana Mclenaghan

Music: Noah Burbank, Japandi, Nimbleweed, Kissing Johnny

Links: FabMo, Recology

Release Date: 1 December 2009

image: Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Dirty White Trash (With Gulls), 1998

Listen to the Full Show:


Story 1: The Original Composters

When you toss a banana peel into a compost bin, it goes to a huge industrial composting complex. This is a step in the right direction, but some Stanford students say that big-scale composting is overrated. They’d rather watch worms do it themselves.


Producer: Lydia Santos

image via wikimedia



Story 2: FabMo

What to do with all those leftover scraps of fabric? Thousands are left behind from fashion shows, and, without intervention, headed for the landfill. One group decided to rescue these scraps and do something better with them.

Producers: Killeen Hanson and Laura Chao

image via flickr


Story 3: At the Dump

It’s all well and good to intervene before something gets thrown away. But what happens to the stuff you don’t save from the dump? It turns out that even then there’s a chance for re-use. Our next story explores the art of the San Francisco Dump.

Producers: Rebecca Pfiffner, Matt Larson

image via flickr


Story 4: The Person Behind the Stuff

We tend to think of throwing away as a voluntary act. But this isn’t always the case. Estate sales–the garage sales for property that belonged to people who have died–are a perfect example. Our next story looks at the stuff people who have moved on have left behind.

Producer: Kasiana Mclenagham

image via flickr