We don’t tend to question what happens to the garbage and waste we deal with.
Almost all the stuff we throw away could be re-used and recycled, and if you look at the sheer volume we produce, especially in Western societies, it’s frightening.
So, how do I deliver the message of my project while also keeping all the images interesting and varied? I am confident I managed to achieve it thanks to the different personalities of each city and its people.
Before I embark on a project, I force myself to write down my purpose; what I want to tell, my messages and outputs.
This is also an issue in Jakarta, which literally has no more space to manage the waste it produces and is still trying to feed into the biggest landfill site in the world.
Whereas in Tokyo, the largest city in the world, they recycle pretty much everything; we can learn from that.
Without the communities at the landfill separating out the varied materials, the somewhat apocalyptic city would have drowned in its own waste a long time ago.
I think many of us read about the waste issues across the globe but, when you see it through the right imagery, you get a real sense of the scale of the problem.Travelling to six major cities, including Jakarta, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Kadir is documenting the ways countries handle their waste disposal.Environmental issues have been close to Kadir’s heart for many years.What they separate is sold for recycling | Nikon D500 AF-S NIKKOR 17-35mm | f/13 | 1/250s | ISO 160 | © Kadir Van Lohuizen Eugene Gadsen (58) is a 'canner', someone who collects plastic and cans from the streets. For every can or bottle he gets 5 cents, he makes about a day | Nikon D5 AF-S NIKKOR 35mm | f/1.4 | 1/250s | ISO 160 | © Kadir Van Lohuizen Showaglass recycles 350 tons of glass bottles a day and 420,000 tons a year, of which 72% is commercial and 28% household | Nikon D500 AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED | f/10 | 1/2000s | ISO 320 | © Kadir Van Lohuizen When I was working on a previous project of mine, which looked at the impact of climate change and specifically rising sea levels, I was extremely concerned by the amount of waste that I saw on small islands and beaches. Nowadays, our global understanding of waste is limited to putting it in bags on the street for collection, but never thinking about the journey it takes afterwards, and the amount of work and effort that goes in to disposing of it.I was interested to track what happens to our waste, to investigate how it’s managed, mismanaged or whether it’s managed at all.In some of the cities I’ve visited, there is no space left to handle this waste.