Trash Transformation - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Trash Transformation

Explore two places where waste is collected, then remade into treasures.

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

Our first stop is 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 you'll follow us by car to Calder’s Rad Pad, a short 2.3 miles away. 

Our second stop at is 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 has 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.  

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. But, please note that some electronics are free to recycle and others cost; see each list of items her - Items with a Fee and Items Recycled for Free
  • We will be caravanning 2.3 miles from Homeboy to Calder's Rad Pad. You will need to have your own vehicle for this part, or carpool with a friend! We will try to consolidate, so not everyone has to drive and pay for parking.
  • Street parking is available for Homeboy, please read signs carefully and park at your own discretion.
  • Street parking at Calder's is quite difficult to find. There is a paid lot right across the street from Calder's that's not too much.
  • 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.