Shoreline Transfer Station
The garbage we throw out remains a part of our ecosystem, even after we’ve forgotten about it.
These works created in 2008 for the Shoreline Transfer Station—where King County’s waste is sorted by the ton—bring the importance of recycling to life in a tangible way. When you throw something away, its journey is far from over—recycling is an art, and Sort shows it in all its complexity. The film goes behind the scenes of waste management, exploring the dance of decisions and motions that get your trash where it needs to go. As trash arrives at the Shoreline Transfer Center, McGehee’s billboard-sized photograph reminds visitors where their unwanted garbage is headed. Taken at the Cedar Hills Landfill, Terra Firma connects our beloved and iconic Mt. Rainier with an ever-growing mountain of trash, underscoring the need to recycle and reuse. Stammen’s ReTire puts visitors in touch with the massive scale of waste management by lining the road to the Transfer Center with recycled tires from the vehicles that move garbage by the tons. As visitors wait to drop off their garbage—everything from plastic bottles to old sofas—their motion triggers audio recordings from within the tires. The sounds that emerge shift back and forth between man-made and natural—they ask Transfer Center visitors to be mindful of what we throw away.