At 19, I visited the landfill in my hometown of Yakima, Washington, for the first time. I was surprised when the attendant instructed me to back my car straight up to the mountain of trash to unload my detritus. Twelve years later when I returned with my camera, I was not surprised to find that the general public had been restricted to a safe dumping area. Over the next year, I proceeded to scour the American West in search of landfills where regular people were still allowed access to the mounds of garbage. In total, I spent two months visiting 22 landfills in 12 states.