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ATLAS OF

FOREIGN G A R B AG E

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DE SIGN RE SE A RCH BY HILL A RY PREDKO AT AUTODE SK ’ S PIER 9 RE SIDENC Y 2 0 1 8 H I L L A R Y P R ED KO


AT L A S O F F O R EI G N G A R B A G E

ATLAS OF

FOREIGN GARBAGE

“To become a maker is to make the world 2

for others, not only the material world but the world of ideas that rule over the material world, the dreams we dream and inhabit together.”

-Rebecca Solnit

S H I P P I N G D EN S I T Y ( C O M M ER C I A L ) BY T. H EN G L 2 0 0 8 - H T T P : // W W W. N C E A S .U C S B . ED U/G L O B A L M A R I N E /I M PA C T S


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IN T R O D U C T I O N

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AT L A S

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A NN OTAT ED BIBL I O GR A P H Y

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C O N TA I N ER S H I P S L O O M O V ER A N T I Q U E S AT T H E A L A M EDA F L E A


INTRODUCTION IT’S MAY 2018 AN D R ECYC LI NG I S C HANG I NG As 2018 dawned, operation National Sword began and China closed its ports to the majority of scrap imports - that is to say, China is no longer importing the paper and plastic we collect in our bluebins in North America. While I can f ind no evidence the Chinese government coined the name, the Western media loves the title National Sword, perhaps for f lair it lends to stories about piles of paper. This massive market shift uncovers uncomfortable truths about the state of recycling globally, and invites us to rethink many of our Western ideas about recycling, especially the idea that it is inherently positive and environmentally friendly. In a brief ing to the WHO in July 2017, China stated that it would ban 14 types of scrap. All other imports would be under new limits for contamination, down to .5% from 4%. This new limit for impurities has essentially meant that all scrap imports are banned. This new legislation banning yang laji or “foreign garbage” (洋垃圾) has been highly disruptive. Over the past two decades many Western nations have shipped half or more of the recyclables they harvest overseas to China for processing. In the following pages, I explore the new global geography of waste management from both sides of the Pacif ic, and how it is we came to send garbage overseas at all.

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All over North America, consumers gather up their cans, bottles and newspapers and drop them into bluebins before buying them all over again. While we call this act recycling, really we are harvesting materials to eventually be recycled 1 . What happens next is part of a complex global supply chain with scrap being traded as a commodity and shipped across oceans. The last step in this supply chain has recently been broken with China drastically limiting imports of 14 types of plastic, paper and other scrap materials 2 , and the recycling industry was entirely unprepared to find alternatives. I have spent the last four months in San Francisco at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop learning to use machine tools and 3D modelling software while researching the global scrap landscape and making objects that interrogate this system of global trade. From the workshop windows, I look out on the Port of Oakland, one of the first container ports, where megaships f loat in and out day after day. Containerization and the subsequent globalization of material goods helped create the conditions under which it made sense to ship bales of paper across the ocean. From my perch on the Western shore of the Pacific, I have tried to peer across the expanse and understand this disaggregated supply chain.

Increased landfilling fees, China’s admission into the WTO, and the rise of containerization created the conditions around the year 2000 under which it was less expensive to sell scrap material across the Pacific to China than to domestic locations.3 The need for raw materials to use in manufacturing prompted Chinese companies to pay more for scrap than domestic companies in the US, overtaking the domestic market. 4 China was importing as much as 47 million tonnes of waste in 2015 5 . The United States exports a third of all recyclables, with half going to China --16 million tonnes in 2015 6 . Now municipalities from Australia to middle America are struggling to find markets for bales of material collected curbside. Pensacola, Florida had been landfilling residents’ curbside recycling for at least two months in early 2018 because they lacked the warehouse space to store materials or the markets to sell them7. China’s ban on foreign garbage is a move to improve environmental regulation, and part of a “war on pollution” 8 . Much of the plastic and metal imported into China is dirty and often mixed in with other contaminants. In open air workshops, workers process hazardous materials by hand, often with little protection. A documentary exposing some of the conditions at Chinese

plastics recycling plants, Plastic China, has been inf luential in starting the conversation around environmental racism and hazardous waste. As a signatory of the Basel Convention, which regulates the global movement of hazardous waste, China is within all legal rights to shutter their ports to these materials. Recycling is a global commodities market, and this shift in the market has meant prices have crashed. Our good intentions don’t make recycling work, strong and stable markets are needed to keep the system running 9” To begin to address the gulf in the global market, and make sure scrap material is being processed and reused, I think we need to revisit and revise many of our Western narratives about recycling, especially the idea that it is fundamentally virtuous and green. By making visible the global geography of waste management, I hope to open space for an honest conversation about what societies should be doing with their scrap material. The only thing that separates recycling from garbage is whether or not someone will buy it.


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P O R T O F O A K L A N D BY N I G H T

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1. P ORT O F OA KL A ND

3. RE V ERSE H AUL AGE

The sprawling port that looms over San Francisco from across the Bay. The distance from the traditional port is telling of greater economic forces.

R e vers e log i st ic s a nd sh ippi n g s sa le s c reat i n g opportunities to inexpensively ship to Asia from North America and Europe.

2. REC O LO GY

4. PL A S TIC CHIN A

The wotker owned waste management company that collects, sorts, and sells waste across the Western USA.

A documentary chronically the lives of two families working in a small plastics processing plant.


AT L A S The world map we see in most contexts - the Mercator projection - doesn’t represent the land masses of earth accurately. While researching this project, I came upon a beautiful map that offered the same f lattening without distortion, while maintaining symmetry and a regular grid. The map in question, and pictured to the left is the Cahill Butterf ly projection (amended as the Cahill-Keyes projection thanks to the contributions of cartographer Gene Keyes).

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L A S ER C U T BIR C H , RE S IN , DY E, A ND S TA INL E S S S T EEL M A P, HIL L A RY P RED KO 2 01 8

5. TR A DE WA R / BA SEL C O N V ENTIO N

7. GRE AT PACIFIC GA RBAGE PATCH

The mounting tensions regarding trade relations bet ween Ch i na a nd t he Un ited St ates may be escalating the effects if the ban.

Ma r i ne pl a st ic s c au g ht i n o c e a n c u r rent s a re accumulating together in the Pacif ic Ocean at an ever increasing rate.

6. EMERGING M A RKE T S Other emerging economies in Asia are beginning to import materials China no longer accepts at their ports.

8 . C O NTA INER A N ATO M Y Shipping containers are the ubiquitous vessel for global intermodal transport.

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From where I sit, the Port of Oakland is a tiny diorama on the horizon. Before I arrived in California, I learned about the local history of distribution and shifting urban dynamics from the podcast Containers 1 . Pier 9 in San Francisco was once part of a bustling break bulk cargo port, where longshoreman unloaded cargo by hand from holds of ships stocked with all manner of objects, but automation moved shipping out of major cities and traditional ports. Container ports like the one across the bay in Oakland became the centres of global distribution. Wandering through the massive, f lat port feels like stepping outside of the city and into an endless cycle of repetition. More cranes, more boxes. Craig Martin calls this the global containerscape, where the world has become a surface transformed by logistics. Here the ports lack any iconic architecture, and instead the container is the architecture 2 . Across the West coast, and throughout Europe and Australia, scrap is loaded onto container ships and travels across oceans to be processed far away from the homes where it had served a useful, if brief and invisible life.

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RECOLOGY

San Francisco’s dump and recycling facilities, run by Recology, offer free tours but they f ill up fast. It took a couple of months to get a spot. The worker-owned corporation manages waste for San Francisco and other municipalities up the West coast of the USA, and is aiming to make San Francisco a zero waste city. Right now the city has the highest recycling diversion rate in the county at 72% 1 . Recology is a creative organization, f inding markets for many materials that aren’t collected elsewhere and offering an artist in residence program where artists get access to discarded materials. On the tour you visit the falconer and his seagull-deterring falcons, the artists’ studio, and the education centre, all of which make it clear that Recology is committed to a transparent and innovative approach to managing waste.

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At their Pier 96 sorting facility, recyclables whizz by on conveyor belts and soar through the air on eddy currents before being baled by type. But even in one of the greenest cities in North America, the bales are packed into shipping containers and sold overseas. General manager Kevin Kelly says, “For now, we are dealing with the impact [of China’s ban]. 2” They have increased inspection and are looking for new markets, but replacing such a large buyer takes time. On any given day, 600 to 650 tons of mixed recycling moves through their San Francisco facility, much of which has an uncertain future without a buyer 3 .

PIER 9 6 REC YCLING FACILIT Y

ENTHUSI A S TI C CITIZENS


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Shipping scrap across vast distances may at f irst seem counterintuitive, but it’s part of a cycle of production and consumption that globalized logistics has helped create. Further, shipping all of that scrap is an opportunity created by consumption. The ships that arrive at ports with hulls full of new products for sale in the West are headed back to China one way or another 1 .

There is a massive trade def icit between China and the United States, about 90/10. This is a result of fewer commodities being produced locally and more made in China to be shipped to the West. Known as backhauls or reverse haulage, shipping companies offer are tremendous price discounts to send containers back to Asia in an attempt to recoup some of their costs. Adam Minter notes, “In early summer 2012 for

example, the price of shipping a 40,000-pound container from Los Angeles to Yantian was a paltry $600. Going from Yantian to Los Angeles, however, could cost four times as much. 2” Ultimately, it had become cheaper to ship scrap to China than processing it domestically 3 . I think of it like a tide f lowing in and out, material being displaced and replaced across time. Materials f low back and


RE VERSE HAUL AGE

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forth across the ocean, f inished products in one direction, things at the end of their life moving backward. The piece pictured above is meant to represent that tide, like an hourglass f lattened into a plane. The waves roll from one side to the other, in one port, in one country, and has nothing else to do but go back, to make the journey in reverse. Two wake patterns are milled into a piece of bird’s eye maple, freezing the movement

of water in a static moment. The path to shipping and selling all this garbage was created by the hunger for and the creation of the garbage. How the reverse haulage logistics play out with these changes in policy stands to be seen; while other markets exist the cost of shipping is more expensive and fewer vessels make those trips. For these containers of scrap to go elsewhere the

circle is broken, the round trip becoming a backtracking journey through countries all over. Like the facility at Pier 96 in San Francisco, municipal recyclers are searching for new markets, new routes and new boats to f loat away the scrap they can’t process themselves.

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PLASTIC CHINA The children want to go f ishing, so they grab their buckets and run down to the pond with the gleeful abandon of a group of kids escaping their parents for an adventure. When they arrive, dead f ish f loat in plastic-choked stagnant water. And so they f ill their buckets and have f ish for dinner. I can’t get this scene out of my mind. Thinking about it makes my teeth feel fuzzy, and my stomach turn. Plastic China, a 2016 documentary by Jiu-Liang Wang, follows two families who work in a small plastics processing plant in north eastern China. It has many scenes that are shocking in the deeply casual way life continues on in terrible conditions. The kids who are growing up surrounded by noxious plastic waste are still just kids, exploring and leanring. With no narrative exposition, Wang tells the story of the daughter of a migrant worker who wants to go to school but instead must help sort and shred endless mounds of plastics. This is the reality of where much of the exported scrap ended up, and this documentary may be a major motivation behind the Chinese government’s decision to ban scrap imports 1 . It’s believed that top government off icials watched the f ilm, even though it was quickly removed from the Chinese internet after its release 2 .

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Wang spent two years living and working with the families he f ilmed, and captures an unguarded human portrait of the last step in a complex supply chain. While there is a market for the plastic pellets created by this handsorted scrap, I f ind it impossible to hold the conviction that my Western recycling practices are actually environmentally friendly when faced with the truth of where that material ends up. As our story weaves back and forth across the Pacif ic, Wang explained in an interview that his drive to create this f ilm was sparked during a conversation in Berkeley, California. He visited recycling factories in California and spoke to the staff about how they dealt with scrap. The factory manager told Wang, “we know trash will be shipped to China. But we aren’t clear how the Chinese side deals with it. Feedback from China shows that it’s OK. It looks good 3 .”

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At a meeting for the WTO Council for Trade in Goods in March 2018, spokespeople from the US and China exchanged hostile niceties while their respective nations’ leaders were in the midst of imposing tariffs and mounting a trade war 1 . In early May, the Chinese government suspended China Certif ication and Inspection Group (CCIC) North America for one month, which blocked the import of all scrap, even that which had previously adhered to contamination guidelines 2 . Kate O’Neill, professor of environmental science and policy at UC Berkeley, believes this move is shifting from environmental policy into retaliatory action against the Trump administration. Either way, China is a signatory of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, a 1998 convention that regulates the movement of waste globally 3 . All of their decisions to change import regulations are being justif ied under the convention, and being upheld by the WTO. The United States remains the only industrialized country to not ratify the convention 4 .

GL I T T ER W H O L E S A L ER , Y I W U C O MM O D I T Y C I T Y


EMERGING MARKETS With overf lowing inventories from this newly severed supply chain, municipalities and private recycling f irms are looking for new markets to export scrap materials. Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Malaysia and other nations in Southeast Asia are the main emerging markets, but even across all of these countries the volume of scrap China had been importing can’t be absorbed 1 . With an ongoing need for raw materials processed from scrap, Chinese companies are setting up shop in these other Asian nations, and even exploring creating domestic plants in the United States. This would allow for the Chinese ports to import processed pellets and pulp rather than bales of co-mingled scrap 2 . However, exporting massive volumes of unsorted waste materials to the highest bidder with the lowest environmental regulations is a poor strategy for overall pollution reduction globally. Without the infrastructure to manage solid waste, 67% of marine plastics are thought to originate from rivers throughout Southeast Asia, washing downstream from cities 3 . This is before an inf lux of foreign material, which could create a huge uptick in the amount of plastic entering the waterways. While a solution must be found for the tons of scrap material that is accumulating, we need to do better than exporting it to whoever is willing to take on the most risk and experience the most environmental devastation.

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Materials of industry and trade don’t just travel through markets: they crumble into soil and dissolve into ocean currents, eventually f inding their way into the bloodstreams and stomachs of animals on land and in water. Much of the world’s suspended marine plastics circulate in the Great Pacif ic Garbage Patch, a carinogenic whirlpool three times the size of France and growing. A recent paper estimates the swirling gyre of suspended marine plastics to be around 79 000 tonnes inside

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B U T T O N S EN C A S ED I N RE S I N

an area of 1.6 million square kilometers 1 . Created by the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a system of circular currents that draw debris into its center 2 , the GPGP is a toxic soup of discarded f ishing gear and domestic plastic products washed into the ocean. Trillions of tiny microplastics f loat alongside larger pieces of debris creating negative outcomes for wildlife throughout the food chain. Ingesting microplastics and small pieces of debris is

killing birds and f ish. Other animals are entangled in nets causing 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales being killed each year 3 . Because it’s so remote, and so poorly understood, the long term impacts of this widening gyre of plastic are unknown. Estimates based on current trends predict there will be “one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of f ish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastic than f ish by weight 4 .


One thing that is known however, is that marine plastic accumulation is linked to poor waste management in developing countries 5 . The Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and WasteAid UK are calling for aid to be provided to developing nations to create better waste management infrastructure 6 . However, this is troubling in light of the strong push for developing countries in Asia

to import scrap products from North America and Europe. The same paper states that mismanaged municipal solid waste in developing countries could account for 50 to 70 percent of plastics entering the ocean 7, meaning that exporting waste from developed nations without any change in infrastructure would result in much of that material ending up in the ocean. I believe that

exporting scrap to developing countries with no investment in infrastructure is an act of environmental racism and will result in the further propagation of marine plastics.

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C O RNER FIT TING

2 0 FO OT B O DY

So ubiquitous its become invisible in the urban landscape, the ISO shipping container is one of the great innovations of the modern world. The standard size of the “twenty-foot equivalent� or TEU container stands at 8 feet wide, 8.5 feet high, and of course 20 feet long 1 . There are variations in size, but capacity of ships and volumes being moved through ports are measured by TEU. Despite the variation, the fundamental innovation comes with the standardization and compatibility 2 .


With agreed upon dimensions, the containers allowed for the development of intermodal global transportation and logistics, which is to say the same volume can be transferred from ship to crane to train or truck anywhere in the world 3 . The key feature, beyond standard sizing, that allows for this transferability is the corner f itting. These f ittings are simple cubes on each corner, top and bottom, perforated with holes: elongated on the front, oblong on the sides 4 .

These f ittings function as a “‘bridging device’ that allows the container to be attached to lifting apparatuses, such a spreader bars or port gantry cranes. Just as importantly they facilitate a secure fastening to truck trailers, and on board container-cell ships where they are locked onto the ship’s loading bay armatures 5 .” Simple design choices on this box, and their global standardization created cascading changes through economies and industries. New container ports were built outside of city centers, production and manufacturing moved to different nations, and shipping materials such as scrap globally become an economic possibility. The architecture of the container built the architecture of globalization.

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JUNK YA RD PL A NE T. Journalist Adam Minter grew up in Minneapolis where his family ra n a sma l l sc rap ya rd . T hese formative experiences led to an understanding of the scrap market he’s brought to his work as a writer in China. Focusing mainly on the scrap meta l trade and rife with p e r s on a l a nec dot e s , Ju n k ya rd Planet meanders around the globe, constantly driving home the thesis that the globa lized commercia l scrap trade is the greenest way to deal with waste. As I keep learning a bout t he i ndu st r y, I a m not certain I agree entirely with this premise, but I keep opening up this book to relive Adam’s journey.

THE C O NTA INER GUIDE

WA S TE DI V E

T h i s book i s st yled to be t he equ iva lent to a bi rd watc her ’s guide for infrastructure e nt hu s i a s t s . Wit h wat e r pro of pa ges, a nd a compac t siz e, t he authors imagined people setting out to peer into modern ports, tr ying to make sense of them. I have done just that. Authored by the founders of the Infrastructure Obser vator y, the book features prof iles on shipping companies f rom a rou nd t he globe t hat include ownership structure, TEU capacity and brief histories. I look forward to someday coming across another infrastructure enthusiast in the wild.

A ne w s l e t t e r for s ol id wa s t e i ndu st r y fol k s , Wa sted ive ha s become daily reading while working on this project. Recently the editors have started a tracker do c u ment i n g t he i mpac t t h at China’s tra sh ba n is hav ing on a ll 50 states in A merica. I f ind the ed itor ia l voice pa rtic u la rly fascinating. W hen garbage a nd rec yc l i n g i s d i s c u s s ed i n ma ny med ia out let s , mora l a rg u ment s tend to get t hrow n a rou nd. Genera lly, the writing in Wastedive is succinct and to the point, intended for industry professiona ls to stay abreast of what is happening in their world.


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M A RINE TR A FFI C .C O M

GEO GR A PHIES O F TR A SH

SITUATED S YS TEMS

Marine Traff ic provides real time maps of global ship positions via AIS data. You can track different sh ips a long t hei r jou r ne ys , or v ie w den sit y maps of h i stor ic marine traf f ic data. Look ing at density maps of cargo ship traff ic across the Pacif ic was a days long obse s sion. L ayers of d i f ferent information can be turned on and off, and if you’re near a body of water you can track the vessels in your line of sight. This website is a professional service for mariners, so all the data services are pay-peruse, and their A PI is confusing. I would love to f ind open source AIS resources for exploring trends in shipping.

Aut hored by a rc h itec t s at t he Un i ve r s it y of M ic h i g a n , t h i s books explores speculative urban relationships to trash while c ont e x t u a l i z i n g a nd m appi n g the pa st a nd present. Focusing on the urban context of Detroit, Michigan, which is unique for it s ma ssive inc inerator a nd inexpensive la nd f ill tipping fees, f ive possible approaches to waste management are proposed. Ranging from a bizarre pyramid that looms stories over the city to communit y sorting hubs where wa ste i s t ended to w it h c a re , these imaginative solutions a re charming and inspiring.

Former Pier 9 A iR s worked on Situated Systems, a design research project exploring geographic sites of the military industrial complex i n t he Sa n Fra nc isco Bay a rea. The zines produced by the group were instructive for this project. I appreciate f inding work where people are exploring how objects, geography, artistic practice and writing f it together to create new ways of k now i ng. T he projec t out put s a re va r ied a nd of t e n diverge from the topic of military histor y, but were inspiring and instructive as I worked through developing this project.

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P ER L I N G ER L I B R A RY


PRELINGER LIBRARY I believe that place is an excellent teacher, and this work has been informed by and inspired by the Bay Area. Some of the most valuable places I worked on this project were the Prelinger Library, and the Observing Landscapes Gallery at the Exploratorium that features reproductions of maps collected by Megan and Rick Prelinger.

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The Prelinger Library’s collection is organized according to a geospatial taxonomy. According to their website, “this arrangement system classif ies subjects spatially and conceptually beginning with the physical world, moving into representation and culture, and ending with abstractions of society and theory. It can be summarized as a walk through a landscape of ideas, from feet-on-the-ground to outer space.” The library f it well with my goal of understanding the implications of geographic changes in the scrap trade. I am forever grateful for f inding a place where independent scholarship has a home.

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HALIBURTON L ANDFILL, 2017


LOOKING FORWARD The chaotic ripple effect of the National Sword policy creates an opportunity to change our system of simply collecting and selling materials to actually recycling them. The lack of capacity and infrastructure to process scrap materials in Western countries had been shocking to me, but would have remained an invisible fact without this upset in the system. While a few headlines and think pieces pop up from time to time, largely this global shift in a major piece of modern life is going unnoticed. The implications of what happens next are incredibly important - to human health, to the environment, and for economic and trade relationships. Recycling isn’t inherently green, and the only thing keeping it out of landf ills is supply and demand. Without a market for these materials, or even with markets willing to take on too much risk, they will be landf illed, incinerated or end up in the oceans. While building capacity and infrastructure renewal are important steps, much of the work that has to be done is low tech and personal. Reducing overall consumption of single use materials, and cleaning and sorting recycling properly both reduce the amount of labour and energy needed to process scrap material.

Hanging the responsibility on the consumer isn’t entirely fair, however. We have little input into how products are packaged, and with ever increasing pressure to work longer and harder, choosing packaged foods and beverages is often an economic necessity. I think it’s short sighted to only rely on solutions that assume the end user maintains control in a complex system. Instead, looking upstream to policy changes that hold producers accountable, and planning for long term infrastructure growth could create real change in the amount of scrap material produced and the way it is processed 1 . Conversations around closedloop manufacturing are frequently happening, and steps are being taken to develop strategies to achieve this. “The United States-based Reverse Logistics Association is full of people dedicated to f iguring this out—and they do come up with best practices—but very few companies are willing to suffer enormous f inancial losses in an effort to close their own loop,”2 says Brian Taylor. In an address at the China Plastics Summit, he cautioned against and “all or nothing” approach on a closed loop, warning that you will always end up with nothing 3 .

Taiwan is an interesting case study for changing a large waste management system, and in 20 years the island nation transformed from a state of waste overload to a global leader in recycling 4 . Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Pay As You Throw (PAYT), and public education programs were all started simultaneously. Per capita waste generation in Taipei fell 31 percent in 15 years, and the equivalent of $240 million USD is collected annually through the EPR program. This money goes toward research, infrastructure development and education 5 .

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The rise of global logistics and containerization has allowed for a fundamental change in the way waste and scrap moves across the globe, which largely happened unbeknownst to the consumers who diligently f illed their recycling bins week after week. The current shifts happening in the system are bringing this to light and creating an opportunity for positive change. Now is the time to consider what policies will encourage overall reduction in scrap materials, both from a producer and consumer level. I feel we have largely been sold a false bill of goods when it comes to the eff icacy and ecological reality of recycling and for those who want to conserve resources globally and protect the environment we need to move beyond blue bin collection. H I L L A R Y P R ED KO


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RE S IN T E S T

C N C A ND 3 D P RIN T T E X T URE S A MP L E S

PROCESS / PIER 9 This work was created during a residency a Autodesk ’s Pier 9 workshop, in San Francisco. Here I learned to use software and tools related to digital fabrication. The tools available informed the objects created, including laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC mills. I grounded material explorations in relating back to topics around geography and recycling.


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L A S ER C U T A ND PA IN T ED M A P

Because this artistic exploration was informed by the tools and materials available at this shop, I didn’t commit to using recycled materials in my projects, even though it was suggested. Countless jigs, bits of tape, failed prints and experiments got me to the f inal work. Making things isn’t very green, either.

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M AC H I N I N G W H I L E RE A D I N G, M Y RE S I D EN C Y I N A N U T S H EL L


NOTES INTRO DU C TI O N 1, 3. Minter, Adam. Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade. Bloomsbury Press, 2015. 2, 6. Maynard, Nate. “China’s Waste Import Ban: An Opportunity for Real Recycling.” The News Lens International Edition, 11 May 2018, international.thenewslens.com/article/95410. 4. Berg, Sven. “Why Recycling in Ada County Faces a Def ining Moment, and How It Will Affect You.” Idahostatesman, Idaho Statesman, www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/community/boise/article207096584.html. 5, 8. “UPDATE 1-China Bans Imports of 16 More Scrap, Waste Products from...” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 19 Apr. 2018, www. reuters.com/article/china-waste-imports/update-1-china-bans-imports-of-16-more-scrap-waste-products-from-end-2018-ministryidUSL3N1RW1UK. 7. Little, Jim. “Pensacola’s Curbside Recycling Has Gone to Landf ill for at Least Two Months.” Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola News Journal, 4 May 2018, www.pnj.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/04/pensacolas-curbside-recycling-has-gone-landf ill-least-twomonths/578209002/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue%3A%2B2018-05-08%2BWaste%2BDive%2 BNewsletter%2B%5Bissue%3A15220%5D&utm_term=Waste%2BDive. 9. O’Neill, Kate. “Will China’s Crackdown on ‘Foreign Garbage’ Force Wealthy Countries to Recycle More of Their Own Waste?” The Conversation, The Conversation, 23 May 2018, theconversation.com/will-chinas-crackdown-on-foreign-garbage-force-wealthycountries-to-recycle-more-of-their-own-waste-81440.

P O RT O F OA KL A ND 1. Madrigal, Alexis. “Containers.” Containers, soundcloud.com/containersfmg.

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2. Martin, Craig, et al. Shipping Container. Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2016.

REC O LO GY 1. Leonard, Annie, and Ariane Conrad. The Story of Stuff: the Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--and How We Can Make It Better. Free Press, 2011. 2. “Recology Prices Could Be Endangered by China’s Halting Import of Recyclables.” The Waterland Blog for Des Moines, WA, waterlandblog.com/2018/05/11/recology-prices-could-be-endangered-by-chinas-halting-import-of-recyclables/. 3. “Chinese Ban Forces San Francisco’s Plastics Elsewhere, with Higher Garbage Prices Likely.” Potrero View, 3 May 2018, www. potreroview.net/chinese-ban-forces-san-franciscos-plastics-elsewhere-with-higher-garbage-prices-likely/.

RE V ERSE H AUL AGE 1, 2. Minter, Adam. Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade. Bloomsbury Press, 2015. 3. O’Neill, Kate. “Will China’s Crackdown on ‘Foreign Garbage’ Force Wealthy Countries to Recycle More of Their Own Waste?” The Conversation, The Conversation, 23 May 2018, theconversation.com/will-chinas-crackdown-on-foreign-garbage-force-wealthycountries-to-recycle-more-of-their-own-waste-81440.

PL A S TI C CHIN A 1. “China Tries to Keep Foreign Rubbish Out.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 3 Aug. 2017, www.economist.com/news/ china/21725815-how-new-rule-could-wallop-recycling-industry-china-tries-keep-foreign-rubbish-out. 2. Taylor, Brian. “China Plastics Summit: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Recycling Today Global, Recycling Today Global, 20 Mar. 2018, www.recyclingtodayglobal.com/article/ringier-plastics-summit-china-recycling-status/. 3. Rui, Yang. “Will China’s Ban on Plastic Waste Imports Choke the World?” Caixin Global, 29 Dec. 2017, www.caixinglobal. com/2017-12-29/will-chinas-ban-on-plastic-waste-imports-choke-the-world-101191394.html+.

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TR A DE WA R / BA SEL C O N V ENTI O N 1. Sputnik. “Trump Goes After Beijing in Trade War, China Shuts Door on US Trash Imports.” Sputnik International, 25 Mar. 2018, sputniknews.com/world/201803241062870960-china-stops-import-world-trash/. 2. Rosengren. “US Scrap Import Inspections Resume under CCIC Canadian Arm.” Waste Dive, 4 May 2018, www.wastedive.com/ news/ccic-china-suspended-halt-inspections/522846/. 3. Staub, Colin. “China: Scrap Imports down 12 Percent Due to Ban.” Resource Recycling News, Resource Recycling, 21 Mar. 2018, resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/03/20/china-scrap-imports-down-12-percent-due-to-ban/. 4. Leonard, Annie, and Ariane Conrad. The Story of Stuff: the Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--and How We Can Make It Better. Free Press, 2011.

EMERGIN G M A RK E T S 1. Hermesauto. “Plastics Pile up as China Refuses to Take the West’s Garbage.” The Straits Times, 12 Jan. 2018, www.straitstimes. com/world/europe/plastics-pile-up-as-china-refuses-to-take-the-wests-recycling. 2. Kanthor, Rebecca. “National Sword May Create New Trade Route for Plastics beyond China - Plastics News.” Plastics News, www.plasticsnews.com/article/20180425/NEWS/180429938/national-sword-may-create-new-trade-route-for-plastics-beyondchina#utm_medium=email&utm_source=pn-recycling&utm_campaign=pn-recycling-20180425&email_recycle. 3. Boteler, Cody. “The Great Pacif ic Garbage Patch Is Even Bigger than First Thought.” Waste Dive, 23 Mar. 2018, www.wastedive. com/news/great-pacif ic-garbage-patch-bigger-than-f irst-thought/519785/.

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GRE AT PACIFI C GA RBAGE PATCH 1, 2. Daley, Jason. “The Great Pacif ic Garbage Patch Is Much Larger and Chunkier Than We Thought.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 23 Mar. 2018, www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/great-pacif ic-garbage-patch-larger-and-chunkier-wethought-180968580/#X4TOJ0z558HTrZvk.99. 3. “How the Great Pacif ic Garbage Patch Is Destroying the Oceans and the Future for Marine Life.” One Green Planet, 1 Feb. 2016, www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/great-pacif ic-garbage-patch-is-destroying-the-oceans/. 4, 5, 6, 7. CIWM and WasteAid UK. “From The Land to The Sea.” Mar. 2018, wasteaid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Fromthe-Land-to-the-Sea.pdf.

C O NTA INER A N ATO M Y 1-5. Martin, Craig, et al. Shipping Container. Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2016.

C O N CLUSI O N 1. Authors, Guest. “In My Opinion: Recycling’s Infrastructure Opportunity.” Resource Recycling News, Resource Recycling, 9 May 2018, resource-recycling.com/plastics/2018/05/09/in-my-opinion-recyclings-infrastructure-opportunity/?utm_ source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue%3A%2B2018-05-10%2BWaste%2BDive%2BNewsletter%2B%5Bissue% 3A15279%5D&utm_term=Waste%2BDive. 2, 3. Taylor, Brian. “China Plastics Summit: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Recycling Today Global, Recycling Today Global, 20 Mar. 2018, www.recyclingtodayglobal.com/article/ringier-plastics-summit-china-recycling-status/.

4,5. Maynard, Nate. “Taiwan’s Waste Reduction Miracle.” The News Lens International Edition, 24 Jan.

2018, international.thenewslens.com/article/88257.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project owes a lot to many wonderful humans. Thanks to Kate for connecting me with the Pier, and to Paolo and Sherry for trusting me to run off in this direction. Thanks to my wonderful cohort and all the shop staff for advice and patience. You all made my time in San Francisco challenging and interesting. Also, thanks to Jason who said I might be into watching the boats at the Pier, you were right.

T H A N K Y O U. HIL L A RY PREDKO.C O M

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HIL L A RY PREDKO @ GM A IL .C O M

INS TAGR A M .C O M/ THE JUNK YA RDFU TURE

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Atlas of Foreign Garbage  

As 2018 dawned, operation National Sword began and China closed its ports to the majority of scrap imports - that is to say, China is no lon...

Atlas of Foreign Garbage  

As 2018 dawned, operation National Sword began and China closed its ports to the majority of scrap imports - that is to say, China is no lon...

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