Introduction: Create Colourful Wastelands by Colouring Waste

Every city knows them and they will never disappear: Wastelands. And we do not only find them in hidden places, take a good look around, they are everywhere. Only not everyone sees them or just ignores them. Most of the places are very potential, but get a dirty look because of all the trash that is being thrown on it. By this and the dominance of dull grey concrete, the wastelands look a bit depressive. But take a closer look, the wildness makes it a special place compared to al the controlled and neat places in a city. So lets cheer them up!

This instructable shows how you can make a wasteland more colourful and interesting by painting the ground and at the same time cleaning it from trash. Very simple by using the colouring trash picker!

In the pictures below you find two examples of such wastelands, the first in the Netherlands, the second in Berlin. The project for this instructable was accomplished in the Netherlands. (Berlin was more appropriate but out of reach..)

Step 1: Get the Colouring Trash Picker

You find the instructable for making the colouring trash picker here:

Step 2: Find a Appropriate Wasteland

There are some aspects that make a wasteland appropriate for colouring:
- The wasteland can be seen by a lot of people, otherwise nobody can enjoy your art! So maybe a lot of people pass by because of a road/trainstation/parking place, or the place is laying in a very central place.
- The ground is useable for paint, concrete for instance. When the surface is sand or grass, try and use enviromentally friendly paint.
- People dump trash on the wasteland
- The wasteland is accessible in any kind of way. You can find creative ways of entering closed areas on as well.

In the images you find a wasteland in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. The place is centred next to a railway and the station is very close. This means trains pass by very slowly every two minutes. On the northside of the wasteland lays an cycle and foothpath that leads straight to the city center. A lot of people walk there dog on the wasteland. The community placed seven temporary walls on the wasteland, where people are free to spray paint. Trash lays all over the place and keeps coming, because people spray paint there a lot and all leave there empty graffiti cans.
But there are also two disadvantages:
- The surface is grass, which temperes the colors and when you use normal graffiti you soil the ground.
- The place is very big, so the result is less impressive because you probably only use a small part

Step 3: Pick Your Colours

Think of the colours you are going to use on the specific place. It will be nice if you give meaning to the colours. Maybe red gives the place a special meaning, you can use the colours of a specific culture, or you can use different colours every week and create some kind of map of where and when trash is being dumped.

You can see in the pictures that the wasteland used here, has so many colours itself because off the graffito's, that it doesn't realy matter which colours you pick. For this wasteland was used a different colour every week, so you can for example see how many trash was dumped in which period.

Step 4: Mount the Graffiti Can to the Trash Picker

This is very easy. Place the graffiti can in the metal ring, and with a screwdriver or a wrench you can tighten the ring so it grips the can.

Step 5: Think of a Use for the Coloured Trash

You can throw the trash you picked away off course, but you can also think of a new application. Because the trash is coloured at the same time you colour the ground, you can create a whole new fairytale-like landscape.

The trash on this place was used to create an ivy on the fence of the adjacent railway. The trash was easily attacked with elastics. By using the colouring trash picker every week, the ivy's grow slowly. The different colours that were used, show how much and what trash was found every week. The plant you see here starts with red, then silver and then purple. By using the fence of the railway, you put it in sight for the people in the train. On this spot, these people are your biggest public and the persons that travel daily/weekly can follow the growing and colouring proces very well!

Step 6: Colour and Clean the Wasteland!

Create your new landscape! Collect the trash with the colouring trash picker, and re-use it in a creation of your own. It is best to wait till the paint on the coloured trash is dry, before re-using the trash.

You can collect every week as long as new trash is thrown on the wasteland, and make the place more colourful and interesting time by time!

Step 7: Show the Results

If you like, please comment me when you created a colourfull wasteland to show the results!

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