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the rubbish collection

In the final post of our series linked to The Rubbish Collection the artist behind the project, Joshua Sofaer, looks back at a truly ambitious exhibition.

In this week’s blog linked to The Rubbish Collection, Curator Sarah Harvey follows some of the unexpected stories and personal objects that were found in the Museum’s bins. As the exhibition nears its end, what will happen to all this ‘rubbish’ afterwards? Much of the feedback I have received about Joshua Sofaer’s The Rubbish Collection, from both visitors and staff, has been about the surprising personal items and stories that have come out of the bins. When we were first […]

Sarah Harvey, Project Curator of The Rubbish Collection, talks to Dr Philip Morton, Chief Executive of REPIC about the challenges of dealing with growing volumes of electrical and electronic waste. REPIC is the largest not-for-profit WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) recycling scheme in the UK. Instead of letting valuable or harmful waste and scarce raw materials go to landfill, REPIC’s job is to recover and transport used electrical goods and batteries to specialist treatment plants. Upon arrival at the […]

In the latest of our blogs linked to The Rubbish Collection, Curator Sarah Harvey talks to Nick Mills, Waste Innovation Manager at Thames Water about what happens to our sewage and what the future holds for wastewater. Sarah: What do Thames Water do with our sewage? Nick: We have 350 sewage works and 68,000 miles of sewers across our region, which stretches from East London to the Cotswolds in the west. Last year, we removed and treated 4,369 million litres of […]

The second phase of The Rubbish Collection exhibition is open at the Museum until 14 September. Having documented every piece of waste that passed through the Museum for a month, this second phase is a chance to see what would have been thrown away. Of the material that hasn’t been selected for display, I collected a small box of bits that I hoped to turn into a product that we might sell in the shop. I like the idea that […]

Joshua Sofaer’s art installation The Rubbish Collection showcases the sometimes surprising materials that are created from the everyday rubbish produced by staff, contractors and visitors at the Science Museum. After documenting all the Museum’s waste for 30 days we have traced where it goes, and how it is recycled and transformed from rubbish back into valuable materials. For recyclable rubbish put into the Museum’s recycling bins the first port of call in the journey is the Grundon Material Recovery Facility […]

The second phase of Joshua Sofaer’s The Rubbish Collection art installation has involved tracing the journeys of the Science Museum’s rubbish, to find out where it goes, and how it is processed. This has enabled us to work out what materials to bring back for display, and in what quantities, to represent 30 days’ worth of Science Museum waste. Rubbish leaves the museum via a variety of different companies but the vast majority is taken by Grundon Waste Management. It […]

Phase 1 – Mark Champkins, Science Museum Inventor-in-Residence Tuesday 15 July was the last day of sorting through Museum waste for The Rubbish Collection project, and my last chance to put in a shift filtering through discarded drinks bottles and leftover lunches. The project is fascinating. It aims to examine what constitutes the waste that passes through the Museum, where it would normally go, and what might be usefully recycled. The exhibition is split into two parts. The first involves […]

In the next of our series of posts linked to The Rubbish Collection, Sarah Harvey, Project Curator, talks to Neil Grundon, Deputy Chairman of Grundon Waste Management. Grundon is the Science Museum’s main waste contractor, handling all our general and recyclable waste – approximately 30 tonnes per month in total! The Museum’s waste either goes to their Colnbrook Materials Recovery Facility and transfer station, or if non-recyclable, to the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant. Lakeside produces around 37 Megawatts of electricity each […]

In the next of our series of posts linked to The Rubbish Collection, Matt Moore, Head of Sustainable Development for the Science Museum Group, looks at how we measure and minimise the environmental impact of our exhibitions and galleries.

In this week’s blog from The Rubbish Collection, Corrinne Burns, Content Developer at our Antenna Gallery gets a volunteer’s view on the exhibition. ‘Do people just get naked in the Science Museum?’ Katyanna Quach asks me, with a suspicious look in her eyes. Before I have time to give that mental image the thorough probing that it deserves, I’m given a bit of context. “We’ve found a bra, some shoes…” ‘And an entire suit. And money. And a television,’ adds […]