Waste in Focus

Peter Menzel, whose previous photo-essays include Material World: A Global Family Portrait and Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, teamed up with frequent collaborator, Faith De’Aluisio, to create the Waste in Focus Project, a look at eight American families and their trash. Families were chosen from around the country. Each family collected all garbage, recyclables, and compostables for one week. At the end, everything was weighed and displayed for a family portrait.

In an interview with Isabelle Raphael in Parade magazine in April, Peter Menzel said, “This was not really an exercise to compare the families one to another. It was more of an exercise for each to learn what they could do better—both to lessen their total household waste and to properly manage their recycling. For instance, while many of our families were already fairly adept at following their municipality’s waste collection rules, nearly every family had put some amount of recyclables in their trash bin.”

To see the photos, read the families’ stories, take the waste quiz, or find answers to some of your frequently asked questions, go to www.WasteinFocus.com.

The project was funded by the Glad Products Company, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful.

Photo credit: © Peter Menzel | www.menzelphoto.com

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