BERKELEY, California – Ari Derfel leads a trashy life. He just wants to remind everyone else that they do, too.
The 35-year-old Berkeley caterer said he has saved every piece of trash he has generated over the past year to see how much garbage one person creates, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.
The experiment began as a way to examine his own consumption habits, Derfel said, but grew into a statement about consumerism and the environment.
"When we throw something away, what does 'away' mean?" Derfel said. "There's no such thing as 'away."'
The refuse — including every tissue, receipt, food wrapper and plastic bottle — lies in bins in the kitchen and living room of Derfel's apartment. He composts his food scraps.
The apartment does not smell like rotting food, and there are no bugs, other than the normal number roaming around any house, the newspaper reported. He washed out bags and containers regularly to ward off odors and vermin.
Derfel said he eventually hopes to donate his accumulated waste to a sculptor.