The Amount Of Waste Produced In America Is Put Into Perspective Through These Images

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Photographer Chris Jordan explores the vast amount of waste produced by American consumers and presents an eye-opening portrait series of massive graveyards across the country for old, discarded cellphones, cellphone chargers, circuit boards, cigarette butts, and even crushed cars. The photographer admits that while venturing to shipping ports and industrial yards for this series (titled Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption), he has found “evidence of a slow-motion apocalypse in progress.”

Cell phones #2, Atlanta (2005) – 44 x 90″

Circuit boards, Atlanta (2004) – 44 x 64″

Spent bullet casings (2005) – 44 x 82″

Cigarette butts (2005) – 5 x 10′

Glass, Seattle (2004) – 44×56″

Pole Yard, Tacoma (2004) – 44×60″

Drums, Seattle (2004) – 40×50″

Cell phones, Orlando (2004) – 44 x 82″

Cell phone chargers, Atlanta (2004) – 44 x 66″

Circuit boards #2, New Orleans (2005) – 44 x 57″

E-waste, New Orleans (2005) – 44 x 57″

Diodes, New Orleans (2005) – 44×90″

Crushed Cars, Tacoma (2004) – 22 x 90″

Crushed cars #2, Tacoma (2004) – 44×62″

Jordan says, “I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.”

These images allow us to internalize the accumulation of waste and reflect on our own unfortunate contributions. The photographer aims to spark an evolution in the way we conduct our lives, in the hopes of a better future for the environment and generations to come. See more of Jordan’s work on his website, here.


Taylor Goldblatt

After years of research, travel, and dreams, I have created this website for people like you who want to experience the things that only America can offer. My passion is to explore and share America's greatest destinations and attractions. Follow me on Twitter @USCityTraveler for additional travel tips and ideas.

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