Trashman triumphant

Dave Chameides tallies up his year’s worth of waste

After a full year of storing trash and recyclables in his basement, Los Angeles cameraman and environmentalist Dave Chameides has accomplished his goal of reducing his environmental footprint.

On his blog (, Chameides spent the last year chronicling everything in his waste stream, from candy wrappers to paint cans. And on Dec. 31, he wrapped up the experience.

With the aid of an accurate scale, his year-end tally included just 30.5 pounds of trash—less than he’d previously estimated. That haul is miniscule when compared to the 1,600 pounds generated each year by the average American. Chameides says the refuse will end up at the Museum of Trash in Connecticut, as an exhibit demonstrating how folks can curb their waste stream.

Among the stockpiled recyclables are 19 pounds of cardboard, 4 pounds of plastic bags, 12 pounds of electronics waste and nearly 70 pounds of paper—all of which will be turned into an art installation. Chameides is now writing a book called 365 Days of Solutions, which will feature 365 things people can do to be more sustainable. He’s also working on a movie based on his lecture titled Chasing Sustainability.