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Forever Landfill
Sarah Rich, 27 Jun 07

Heavy Trash is at it again. The anonymous crew of Los Angeles-based interventionist artists, architects and urban planners just made a biting public criticism of LA's waste and waste management problems in the form of a conceptual service company called Forever Landfill.

With Los Angeles' consumptive culture showing no sign of slowing, the city's current landfill supply falls short of demand. Forever Landfill provides an essential service to meet the lifestyle needs of L.A.'s luxury community by giving residents the opportunity to purchase their own personal landfill plot, complete with discrete daily pick-ups, signature refuse bins, and platinum customer care. Rather than asking Angelenos to make personal sacrifices, or requiring commercial producers to take responsibility for the waste they create, Forever Landfill allows residents to send their toxic e-waste, unsightly plastics, and excess packaging to a remote location where all trash can rest in peace.

Heavy Trash designed an extensive corporate website for Forever Landfill, complete with sample patterns for landfill bins (like the Burberry one pictured above), images of their ads on public benches, and a lengthy FAQ. The corporate copy is relentlessly sardonic and never breaks character. They point to a recent initiative proposed by a city councilman called RENEW L.A., which plans to improve waste management and drastically reduce trash over a twenty year period -- a noble proposal except that it's a time period at the end of which LA's landfills will have long since reached capacity. As one of the FAQ's puts it:

Why won't the city and RENEW LA solve all of LA's trash problems?
We know you don’t want to wait around for your trash needs to be met. The city's RENEW LA plan will take time to implement, yet by 2013, every one of Los Angeles County's landfills will reach maximum capacity, according to the LA County Sanitation Department. Without Forever Landfill, you could be forced to alter you lifestyle and would never be able to keep up with the latest trends! Also, while the city's efforts through RENEW LA offer sound waste management solutions, they are weak on waste reduction. Until producers take responsibility for their own trash, the city will not be able to be able to adequately clean up consumer waste.

The site also [seems to] subtly criticize the recent mini-spate of green funeral and burial services that have sprung up, like Forever Fernwood (whose name is obviously closely akin to Forever Landfill), which offers "ecologically sensitive" burial plots in Northern California. It makes some sense when you think about it -- the idea that you can purchase and customize a plot of any size, in any location doesn't seem like a sustainable system, given the limits of land space and the already gargantuan size of our footprints. Does it matter what you're putting under the ground you've bought? Surely there's a big difference between e-waste and organic matter, but they do have a point...

Most of the images on the Forever Landfill site appear to be computer generated, but given the lengths they've gone to in the past, it wouldn't be beyond them to actually place a collection bin in front of a Brentwood or Beverly Hills estate. Maybe with the Burberry coat it'll blend right in.

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It's unfortunate that LA will not bite the bullet and initiate a program to recycle/reduce the flow. We have the technology to reduce the flow as much as 90%.
Don Ford -Pub.Works Director (retired)

Posted by: Don Ford on 28 Jun 07

Why not start a grassroots movement like in the Phillipines? (or something similar) Involve the churches, movie stars, pop stars, girl- and boy-scouts?

I'm afraid someone will actually think this is a good idea and start to market it! (Or people will start applying for it!)

Posted by: Andreya on 3 Jul 07



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