by Shireen Passi Chopra
Yes, you heard it right; I love garbage! And what if I told you that by the end of this article, you will love garbage too, and will even want to buy it! I’m not talking about the American-Scottish rock band formed in 1993 by the same name (although they pretty much sound like their name). I am talking about the trash living in your trash cans; the junk making up your junkyards; the waste strewn in the streets…I think you pretty much get the picture now.
What if I told you, even at the risk of sounding crazy, that there was a way to make you fall in love with your garbage? To make you want to make a souvenir out of it and even make a showpiece of it for you to display it in your drawing room, bedroom, study or perhaps, even your office?
“Crazy!” “Insane!” “Mad!” “Lost her marbles!” You would probably bestow me with all these fancy adjectives, and some of you may already be thinking of dialing the number of the mental asylum. Wait, wait! Before you do any of the above, just hear me out first!
One Mr. Justin Gignac, an ingenious, creative and ‘crazy’ gentleman at that, is an American artist and entrepreneur based in New York City. In the year 2001, while a student at the School of Visual Arts, Mr. Gignac got into a debate with some classmates about the importance of packaging, with someone claiming that package design wasn’t important. The young advocate of the supreme importance of package design, of course, disagreed. Mr. Gignac figured that the only way to really know if one’s package design was successful was to package something nobody would ever want. Soon a challenge came and so Mr. Gignac set out to find something that no one would ever buy.
While looking for that ‘something’ and traveling through the streets of Times Square in Manhattan – those dirty, dusty and filth infested streets – he suddenly found his answer…GARBAGE!
He would package and sell the garbage of New York City – a rather crazy idea, at least at the time. However, 12 years later, over 1,400 NYC Garbage Cubes have been sold in 30 countries around the world, and Mr. Gignac has not only won the original challenge that actually spearheaded this whole thing, but he is now a successful businessman, running a reputed company called NYC Garbage. Literally changing trash to treasure! New York City alone produces 26 million pounds of trash per day! Killing two birds with one stone, he has found an ingenious way to tackle the mounting waste-disposal problem of the city, while making his fortune out of garbage.
Salvageable and dry objects are hand-picked from the garbage heap right off the street; from back alleys, uptown, downtown – the trash is collected late at night after the streets are fairly empty. These objects are then put into plastic molds, in the shape of transparent cubes. And rest assured, your garbage is 100 percent authentic, with the garbage cube labelled as such: ‘100% authentic.’
The Garbage Cubes come in two types. The original and the limited edition. While the original Garbage Cubes are made from the everyday garbage collected from the streets of New York City, the limited edition ones are from important, and once in a lifetime events that should be commemorated. A number of limited edition Garbage Cubes that have been produced so far include: the Republican National Convention, the World Series at Yankee Stadium, New Year’s Eve at Times Square, the New York Giants Victory Parade, Barack Obama’s Inauguration event and Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland. These garbage cubes are even labelled with the event they are from.
The process of manufacture is simple: some colorful trash is collected from the venue of these events – the beverage cans, bottles, the paper plates, the pom-poms and confetti, or the papers, spiral binders, post-its and pins, in the case of political events like a presidential election campaign, perhaps, and then a limited edition series is created to remember the event by.
The original Garbage Cube will cost you USD 50 (KD 15) while the limited edition will cost USD 100 (KD 30). Wait, there’s more! You can even super-size your garbage, with your own ‘Jumbo Cube’, a 7”x 7”x 9” sized Garbage Cube! Trash made trendy through an ingenious package design and marketing plan to match – your garbage will never look the same again! See, didn’t I tell you I would make you fall in love with your garbage?
For more information visit: www.nycgarbage.com