7 Days of Garbage explores our trashy lives

How do you get people to pay attention to the amount of waste they produce? Photographer Gregg Segal has convinced individuals and families to pose lying in a week's worth of garbage. The results are eye-opening.

7 Days of Garbage exhibit exposes trash habits

7 years ago
Duration 5:51
For his exhibit, photographer Gregg Segal convinced individuals and families to lie in a week's worth of their own trash.

Nobody likes the idea of airing their dirty laundry. But apparently some people are willing to lie in their own trash. 


These people are the brave souls who agreed to be part of Gregg Segal's 7 Days of Garbage, an exhibit that displays his photographs of individuals and families lying in a week's worth of their own trash.

It's an idea that stems from Segal's long-held fascination with garbage, thanks to a childhood neighbour who produced mountains of the stuff each week.

"I thought this guy could probably fill up a landfill all by himself," Segal said in a recent interview on CBC's The National. Even as a child, Segal was struck by a queasy question: 

Where on earth is all that trash going to go?

Years later, the question still concerns him. So much so that eventually he turned his lens on the subject of garbage, asking friends and family to save their trash and then lie down and be photographed in it. 

"Once it is out of sight it is out of mind," Segal said. "The idea of the piece is that it's kind of forcing people to reconcile themselves to what they're purchasing and what they're consuming and throwing away every week."

For participants, it was an overwhelming experience.

"Not just the smell," said Amanda Blakley, a writer who posed with her family ahead of the exhibit's Toronto debut. "But this idea of one week out of a year, this is how much we produce … I think it was a little bit frightening"

You can watch the full story by clicking on the link above or by watching Monday's The National.