Skip to content

Trash Mapping: Following the Paths of Our Waste


Seattle is a hub for sustainability. One important aspect of obtaining a sustainable society is to divert material from local landfills to alternatives such as recycling and composting. However, despite efforts to educate people about these choices, many people remain confused when confronted with a series of bins for depositing their trash. That being said, which bin offers the most sustainable path for a specific piece of waste? In order to answer this question, I have created my own posters that illustrate the path that items follow after being deposited in a compost, recycling, or landfill bin at the University of Washington. To create the posters, I contacted composting and recycling processing experts, visited local waste management facilities, analyzed current bin signage, and researched the role that ordinary people play in the success and failure of waste diversion. My hope is that these posters will produce a more well-informed community that cares to take the time to properly dispose of their waste, promoting a more sustainable future.