Unless you are a chemist, it’s been a while since you’ve seen the periodic table of elements. But if you live in New York, you are very well acquainted with the periodic table of thrash. Pop quiz! Name 3 elements of municipal waste, and 2 elements of thrash related to vices. Did you pass the test? If you didn’t, you better get to reviewing.
“Litter tells a story,” said the table’s co-creator Molly Young in an dnainfo article, “It reflects the tastes and affinities and terrible habits of a city’s inhabitants. It may be ugly to look at, but it is rich with exactly the kind of ‘data’ we like best.” Young and her friend Teddy Blanks brainstormed a list of 140 articles of trash they hoped to document and photographed each object “in the wild,” she said. The result was this successful kickstarter project that reveals what New Yorkers love, despise, and find gross.