The Arrangement of Unwanted Features

Every landscape has a history, and the form in which we contemplate it today, only reflects the trace of its movement.

Waste or garbage has been around since mankind’s early presence. However, since the industrialisation and the urban growth of the last 200 years, the amount of waste generated has grown significantly. The first organised solid waste management system was implemented in the late 18th century. Nowadays in Europe it’s hard to find visible traces of waste other than the containers where we deposit our garbage and the trucks that drive around to collect it. After these simple actions, waste disappears from sight. For many decades (and in some countries up until now), the most common and cheap method to get rid of waste was to deposit it in landfill. When a landfill site reaches its maximum capacity it is covered with protective layers, soil and plants to integrate this newly constructed landscape in the surrounding area. the artificial and the natural collide in vertically stacked layers.

Now that the EU has established that the landfilling of municipal waste has to be gradually limited to 10% by 2030, this practice could become a marginal phenomen. However, the hills and holes resulting from years of landfill will, identifiable or not, shape the landscape for good. This project studies the transformation of our landscape as a result of waste management and explores the practice in 6 EU countries to trace different levels of progress towards the deadline of 2030.