Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recology San Francisco

Last weekend I went on the tour of Recology San Francisco in preparation for applying to their artist residency. That place is amazing! I highly recommend checking it out. It makes such a difference to be reminded that trash & recycling don't cease to exist after they are thrown into a container and out of site.

Images in order from top to bottom

Image 1: "Treasure Hill"
Items gleaned by employees from the cacophony of detritus delivered daily to the "dump"

Image 2: Unloading the trash.... I forget exactly what happens here.... and where this stuff goes... It might go to another station where it gets sorted...
(Anybody remember?)
....update: Micah, our tour guide, refreshed my memory... this site is the Transfer Station. "The transfer station is the building where all the trash (black bin) in San Francisco goes to be transferred into larger trucks and taken to the landfill in Altamont. Nothing in the black bin gets sorted. That’s why its so important for residence to know how to use their bins." -Thanks Micah!

An interesting thing about this area was that it was frequented by Gulls.
I inquired about what the relationship was between Recology and the Gulls and what I found out was Amazing! Apparently the company struggles to keep the birds out of this area where they can get injured and likely ingest harmful debris. Well, they've tried loads and loads of deterrents and what they've ended up with is a falconer! They've enlisted the services of a professional falconer who brings falcons to the site Monday - Friday. The presence of predators in the vicinity has kept the Gulls mostly at bay! It's fascinating that after many manufactured attempts (streamers, barriers, etc.) it is a natural dynamic that succeeds. Seems like there is a lesson there that has relevance to issue of waste management: that what we try to accomplish through invention, often can be achieved by noticing what is already there.

Image 3: (We got to wear cool florescent yellow vests.)

Image 4: Stepping stone made by middle schoolers under the guidance of a resident artist. Materials were found on site.

Image 5: The most recent addition to the sculpture park.

Image 6: Path through the Recology sculpture park.

Image 7: Last but not least: Public Disposal.
During the residency artists scavenge and sort through the drop-off center.

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