Trash Transformation - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Trash Transformation

Take part in National Infrastructure week! Explore two places where waste is collected and transformed into treasure: Homeboy Electronics Recycling and Calder's Rad Pad.

Discover two very different and creative ways your trash is being recycled in Downtown Los Angeles. 

First stop, Homeboy Electronics Recycling, a full-service, certified electronics recycling facility! Led by Brian Fox, Director of Operations, we'll learn the full history of the organization as he leads us through the facility, explaining the various processes starting from the incoming/receiving area and following the path of electronics through sorting, de-manufacturing, data destruction, and finally reuse. We'll also get to see some of the vintage relics that they restore and rent out as props. There will time for Q&A in the lobby and then we'll drive to Calder’s Rad Pad, a short 2.3 miles away. 

Second stop, the Rad Pad artist studio of Calder Greenwood, a labyrinthine world made of cardboard! At Calder’s we will get an exclusive tour of the Rad Pad, containing an eclectic mix of cardboard projects that Calder’s created over the past seven years. Highlights include a VHS store, a dungeon, a phone booth, a Japanese train, and even a giant Captain Ivan Drago, the Soviet boxer from Rocky IVCalder will share his artistic process as he explains how he came to work so extensively (and almost exclusively) with cardboard.  

This event is part of National Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure Week is a non-profit organization that convenes for a week of education and advocacy highlighting the state of our nation's infrastructure—roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, telecoms, and more—and all the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to keep these vital parts of life humming along. 

About Homeboy Electronics Recycling

Based in Downtown Los Angeles, Homeboy Electronics Recycling (formerly Isidore Electronics Recycling) offers certified e-waste recycling, data destruction, and IT asset recovery services. Founded by Kabira Stokes in 2011 (as Isidore), they are a woman-led, award-winning, social enterprise that provides on-the-job training and employment for men and women who face barriers to employment. In particular, Homeboy Recycling provides job opportunities to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women. 

After being acquired by Homeboy Industries in 2017, they have continued to build upon the philosophy developed by Father Greg Boyle and the Homeboy Industries team, finding value in people and electronics where others may not. 

About Calder Greenwood

L.A.-based artist Calder Greenwood is a prop-maker, set builder, model maker, director, writer, and production designer who creates larger than life installations and truly magical spaces, all from a single material—cardboard. 


  • Recycle your electronic waste! If you have old cell phones or computers, please bring them.
  • We will be caravanning 2.3 miles from Homeboy to Calder's Rad Pad.
  • Street parking is available, please read signs carefully and park at your own discretion.
  • No children under 12 years old. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Photography is encouraged! Tag #atlasobscura
  • A signed liability waiver will be required from all confirmed attendees.


Email Benjamin Harmon at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.