In 2003, between 30,000 and 40,000 Argentineans made their livelihood collecting trash off the streets of Buenos Aires. Today well established cartonero (cardboard picking) collectives have successfully lobbied the municipal government to legalize their trash collection, enforce curbside source separation to aid recycling, and provide childcare for their members.

But the value of the recyclables the cartoneros collect is tied to the global commodities markets. In 2007 a number of collectives approached material scientists and engineers from Queens University, Ontario to develop value-added products from the trash they collected in an effort to secure a more reliable income.

The Rhode Island School of Design joined the Waste for Life (W4L) effort in 2009 to contribute design and production experience.
Image Credit: Eric Feinblatt, Waste for Life


Waste for Life in Buenos Aries

Caroline Baille, Eric Feinblatt and Erica Lee are currently in Buenos Aries, figuring out how to put some of the products into production. Erica is posting regular dispatches at the Main Waste for Life site.

Exhibition at Bioneers by the Bay

Designs from RISD’s Its In the Bag competition are being displayed at the U Mass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts Star Store for this year’s Bioneers by the Bay/Connecting for Change Conference.

Workshop @ A Better World by Design

A Better World by Desihgn '10

Waste for Life + RISD are hosting a workshop at the Better World by Design Conference to test instructions for making simple cardholders. Participants will make materials, cut and template pieces, and heat seal the final products.

It’s in the Bag Panel Discussion

Featuring Mariana Amatullo (Director, Designmatters@Art Center), Seth Goldenberg (formerly VP Bruce Mau Design), Julie Lasky (Editor Changeobserver), Lynne McCormack (Director, Department of Art, Tourism & Culture).

Thursday May 6, 6-8:30
Metcalf Auditorium, RISD Museum
Open to the Public

RISD Waste for Life Fall Studio Exhibition

This Thursday from 6 to 8 pm, please join us at the Industrial Design Gallery (161 South Main St) for the opening of an exhibition of student work from the Fall Studio.

Plastic Bags as a Medium

Image Credit: Emily Steffian

Every plastic bag performs differently in the press. These properties are determined by the density of the raw plastic, by the color dies, and by any surface printing.