Massimiliano Sticca Photographer

Wast Food

Life in dump

When: 2014

Where: Italy

What: Life in dump


What’s the story of the waste?
Where does it finish after we trash it?
This is a real story, born in a dump while observing the animals wandering around it. The idea is to show people what we cause whenever we throw away something in our garbage, in particular the food. Unfortunately food trashed in dump, mixed with other un-recycled waste like plastic, pesticide and chemical substance, become a toxic cocktail for animals.

The dump

Bulldozers compact and crush waste to bury it under a layer of soil.

Gulls in dump

During winter period thousands of gulls, many herons, kites, egrets, and rarely storks reach the dump to feed. Animals are not scared by human presence, neither from the bulldozer used to compact the waste, they fly close to the machines searching and picking up the food before it is buried.

Food’s coming!

Gulls fly first near the bulldozers for food, during some periods of the year you can see more than 400/600 gulls all around the dump.

Flock of gulls

The big flock of gulls in the dump.

Fast or no food

Gulls in the dump fly frantically to reach food in time before dozers bury it.

Break after lunch

Many gulls lay on the soil after eating while trucks transport soil used to cover the waste in the dump.

No fear

Animals, like this Grey Heron, are not afraid of human presence or working compactors, they stay close to the machine to obtain food.

Biodiversity in the dump

You can find many species of birds in dump. Here you can see african sacred ibises (Threskiornis aethiopicus), black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), grey herons (Ardea cinerea) and black kite (Milvus migrans).

Fighting for food

Species that usually never fight each other for food, like herons and kites, challenge while compactor press waste before bury it.

Herons in dump

A group of Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) looking for food before the darkness

King of dump

A Grey Heron on the waste hill in the dump keep an eye on the waste looking for food before other challenger steal it.

Herons fight

Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), like other animals in dump fight for food, just the fastest birds obtain food.

Cattle egrets and pollution

Three Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) are waiting for food on the edge of the dump, while bulldozers compact waste.

Plastic effects

A Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) without a leg. Plastic laces found in rubbish bag often twist in birds legs causing the dead of animal or, as this example, the loss of a leg.

Spring time in dump

After winter period gulls and many other birds like storks, kites and egrets leave the dump to healthier place like rice field; just a few species of birds like the house-crow and common pigeons still searching food there.