We began our inquiry by thinking of waste – a seeming end to the life of things. We looked at the infrastructure of trash which is one of the most literal forms of waste We saw that trash is in constant motion even when it’s dormant. It’s life consists of one long dormant phase and many shorter fragmented ones. The journey of trash starts when it leaves our homes. Trash holds a potential and has a value for people who encounter it. Landfills are the accumulation of that potential and they receive trash until they are full. Even when trash is buried and “still” its potential is “still” exerted as methane.
The potential in the form of methane, then becomes a part of the grid that supports urban life. The state of trash is not the end of a process but holds a potential within itself feeding its own infrastructure. Simply, it is a loop. The whole infrastructure of trash is an extended threshold stretching from our homes to the landfill and back to our homes where the potential is always in use. We define waste as anything that is stored, held, in waiting, or otherwise potent in its dormancy. Therefore rather than seeing waste as a momentary condition we started to see it as a timeline consisting of temporal phases.