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Rural Alaska

Photos: The painted dumpsters of Bethel, Alaska

  • Author:
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published August 3, 2014

BETHEL -- In a city with no curbside trash pickup, where plastic shopping bags must be biodegradable but stuff still accumulates in yards, dumpsters are not only essential but celebrated.

The dumpsters of Bethel are canvases for public art and billboards for public health. They are where residents are supposed to throw away garbage, but their value extends beyond function.

"Everybody thinks of Bethel as being ugly and it's not," said Tiffany Tony, operations director for the region's vocational school, Yuut Elitnaurviat. "Bethel is quirky."

Read more: Dumpsters of Bethel combine function, art, public health