The trashcam project

The garbage collectors would take each picture by opening a flap over the 8-mm pinhole on the dumpster, with each exposure lasting anywhere from five to 70 minutes, depending on the light. Their innovative method was not without problems, however. They would often not know whether an image had been captured successfully until they developed the large-format negatives in an improvised lab each evening. There was also the problem of passersby trying to throw their trash into the camera, ruining the shot.

When the trashcam did work, however, the resulting black-and-white images were spectacular. Almost a square meter in size, the images depicted the everyday landscapes of the bin men — from the old docks in the port city to town hall. The jury at the Cannes Lion advertising festival certainly agreed on their artistic merit: the campaign was awarded the Silver Lion Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in the international advertising industry.