Copyright Information

“The Life of Waste” was created by Simone M. Müller under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

This refers only to the text and does not include any image rights. Please click on an image to view its individual rights status. 

“Abandoned Factory.” Photograph by Kerttu, 2016.


E-waste picker in Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana. Photograph by Kevin McElvaney, 2017.


“Waste Dump in Brandenburg.” Photograph by Jonas Stuck, 2018.



Leo Koppelkamm


“Sorting of household trash on a ship in Utrecht, 1959.” Photograph by Wouter Hagens, 1959.


“Trash.” Graffiti in Warsaw Poland, 2014. Photograph by Paul Sableman, 2014.



“Airconditioned Forest.” Photograph by misterbenben, 2010.


“Discarded Childhood.” Photograph by Matthew Dilon, 2009.


A still from the movie Yellow Cake.




A singular waste object at an abandoned waste dump in Brandenburg. Photograph by Jonas Stuck, 2018.


Waste Atlas is a crowdsourcing free access map that visualizes municipal solid waste management data across the world for comparison and benchmarking purposes.


“Waste Dump.” Photograph by Jonas Stuck, 2018.


Thinking waste. Photograph by Jonas Stuck, 2018.


Berlin induces its citizens to proper waste disposal through canny slogans on its waste containers. Photograph by author, 2015.


“Fresh Kills Landfill is on the western edge of Staten Island.” Photograph by Matthew Trump. Figure 1 in Martin V. Melosi’s article, “Fresh Kills: The Making and Unmaking of a Wastescape.”


Extract from the movie poster for Eisenfresser/Ironeaters.


Philadelphia encourages the public to keep drains clean and unclogged. Photograph by author, 2018.

A still from the movie Iron Crows


Shipbreaking at Alang shipyard, Gujarat India. Photograph by Ayushi Dhawan, 2018.


At the market in Alang, vendors sell everything usable from the dismantled ships, ranging from cutlery and antiques to lifeboat provisions. Photograph by Ayushi Dhawan, 2018.


“Mohammed Camara, a waste recycler at Agbogbloshie, Ghana, the world’s largest e-waste dump, daily exposes his health to the toxic fumes from burning malfunctioning USB cords and other electronic materials to get to the copper inside.” Caption and photograph by Kevin McElvaney, 2013.


A family in Guatemala City survives by gathering hundreds of used plastic containers. They classify each of them and even separate them by size. Other families collect only cardboard or tin/aluminum cans and few collect all of them. Photograph by byroN José sun, 2013.


“Cardboard…” This man has collected cardboard to sell to a recycling center at Bacolod City, Philippines. Photograph by Brian Evans, 2018.



Burning tires to scavenge the steel belt wire.


Creating waste. “Wasted”, Photograph by Damian Gadal, 2010.


“Waste Lane.” Photograph by Tim Green, 2012.


“Trophy Fish.” Caption and photograph courtesy of Judith Selby and Richard Lang, 2017.


“With the help of a volunteer team, we collected plastic from a stretch of Matagorda Island in Texas, strung it on brass wires, then hung it from the ceiling to represent the plastic floating in the ocean.” Caption and photograph courtesy of Judith Selby and Richard Lang, 2017.


Garbage Dreams. The Recycling Game.



Trash is for Tossers. Blog logo.


Going Zero Waste. Blog logo.




“Rust-colored runoff from the abandoned quicksilver ghost town of New Idria, CA.” Photograph by Matthew Lee High, 2007.


General view of a section of the waste disposal facilities at the Dow Chemical Company plant in Midland, Michigan, USA, 1952. Photograph from the Science History Institute’s Dow Chemical Company Historical Image Collection.




Los Afectados, the affected ones, have been living downstream of the oil production of the American company Texaco for half a century in the Oriente of Ecuador - their decades-long struggle for compensation and clean-up is ongoing. This image shows Donald Moncayo of Toxitours in front of one of the almost 800 oil pits left behind. Photograph by Maximilian Feichtner, 2018.


Poster for the film Living Downstream.


“The Trash.” Photograph by Nathan James, 2006.


“Solid Waste is dumped into trenches at this sanitary landfill.” Photograph by Jim Olive, 1972. Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives.


Photograph by Kevin McElvaney, 2013.