Rubbish (2006)

Rubbish collection and disposal have long been among the foremost responsibilities of local government. Rubbish: cleaning Melbourne’s streets ran at the City Gallery from 5 April to 24 June 2006 and reflected on the city’s changing relationship with its rubbish, from its early reputation as ‘Smelbourne’ to its more environmentally-aware consciousness of today. The exhibition explored questions such as what constitutes ‘rubbish’ and how this has changed through time; who should bear the responsibility for its removal and disposal; and how the city’s present methods of control developed. In telling the story of the city and its rubbish, the exhibition examined tips, scavengers, rats, cesspits, rubbish bins and other mucky aspects in the city’s history. The exhibition was curated by Caitlin Stone, an MA in Public History and Heritage student under the supervision of Andrew May.


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