WTD?

What’s the Deal With: The plant dumpster?

One man’s trash is another man’s dumpster fire
July 20, 2022 at 5:50 a.m.
Alex McLean's plant dumpster can be found in the alley next to Locus cafe on Holly Street.
Alex McLean's plant dumpster can be found in the alley next to Locus cafe on Holly Street. (Jaya Flanary/Cascadia Daily News)

By JAYA FLANARY
Digital Editor

In the alley beside Locus on Holly Street is a dumpster filled with sedums. Made of steel and wood, the dumpster is on wheels and brimming with the low-maintenance greenery.

The sculpture, which originally had decorative flames and helped artist Alex McLean stay distracted during a “rough year,” is titled “2016” to reflect his dumpster-fire-of-a-year. 

McLean, who has worked construction for more than 20 years and did demolition work for the Granary, has various sculpture projects around downtown Bellingham and the waterfront.

Inspired by “green roofs” — building roofs that are covered in vegetation, often equipped to reduce stormwater with drainage and irrigation systems — McLean uses steel and lumber from construction jobs, garbage and recycling in his artwork.

“Our built environment is pretty brutalist and hostile ... so I lean towards the juxtaposition of using gnarly, almost industrial themes in my work,” McLean said. 

“2016” is made of wooden doors that housed the flywheel for the top of the Granary’s grain elevator. After acquiring them, McLean said, “it was mostly just my brain convincing me that a totally custom, full-size, steampunk garbage dumpster was what was missing in this world.”


WTD runs on Wednesdays. Have a suggestion for a “What's the Deal With?” inquiry? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

Have a news tip? Email newstips@cascadiadaily.com or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Register for email newsletters

* indicates required
Preferences:

Latest Stories


HOCKEY
Kraken lose for the second time in three games
Flames rebound with impressive 5-2 win over Seattle

BASKETBALL
Sehome hands Lynden first league loss during blowout victory
Grant Kepley, Grey Garrison combine for 42 points

BASKETBALL
Lynden uses 3 double-digit scorers to rout Sehome
Lions now in sole possession of third place in league

LAW & JUSTICE
Temporary restraining order ties hands of newly elected Judge Rands
'Unprecedented' motion centers on transfer of 123 cases

PREP
BHS inducting 10 new members into Hall of Fame
2023 class includes athletes, coach, community contributor