Best Use of Trash San Francisco 2002 - The Sanitary Fill Co.
Since its inception in 1990, the artist-in-residency program at the Sanitary Fill Co. (otherwise known as the city dump) has been putting S.F.'s garbage to good use. The highly competitive program grants selected artists carte blanche access to the dump's treasure troves, plus much-needed studio space where they can turn rubbish normally sent to landfills or recycling plants into works of art. Run by Paul Fresina, the program encourages recycling and resource conservation: Fresina himself has salvaged glass panels from vandalized Muni bus shelters and transformed them into plates and bowls; costume designer Daphne Ruff has fashioned high heels and a purse from an old Monopoly game; and Banker White has constructed musical instruments from tree trunks and found materials. Ruff and White even collaborated recently to outfit the company's Recycled Instrument Band (aka La Banda Basura), which plays at community events like the Chinese New Year Parade and the Mission District's Carnaval.