LTV Freight Review 2017: Trash Edition


New York City was once the mighty manufacturing capital of the united states. Today, our largest export is garbage. There is literally enough garbage leaving NYC every day to warrant it's own long haul trash train.

Garbage is New York Cities' hidden legacy. As Edward Humes writes in Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash: “Americans make more trash than anyone else on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day, 365 days a year. Across a lifetime that rate means, on average, we are each on track to generate 102 tons of trash. Each of our bodies may occupy only one cemetery plot when we’re done with this world, but a single person’s 102-ton trash legacy will require the equivalent of 1,100 graves. Much of that refuse will outlast any grave marker, pharaoh’s pyramid or modern skyscraper: One of the few relics of our civilization guaranteed to be recognizable twenty thousand years from now is the potato chip bag.

Aside from the city's role as a massive trash exporter, it is also the world capital of graffiti. Subways were first tagged here, and freight trains soon followed as early as 1990. This tradition of tagging eventually included the trash trains that began running through The Bronx (in the mid 1990s), Brooklyn and Queens (in 2009).

These trash cars have accumulated a significant amount of graffiti, the handiwork of graffiti writers and moniker taggers between New York and Virginia. This book documents a year's worth of graffiti benching of these cars. It consists of 104 pages, with 328 full color photos. Unlike other LTV Press publications, it is available exclusive through this site.