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This essay examines the relationship between uneven economic development and the differential distribution of trash. Drawing from fictional genres of urban discontent and photography of metropolitan peripheries, this article considers how aesthetic engagement with garbage has been integral for imagining the ends of infrastructure. The cultural transformation in the treatment of waste crystallizes around two moments. The first, roughly coterminous with literary modernism, marks the formalization of waste infrastructures in Western cities. Secondly, during the second wave of urbanization, the traffic of waste became a transnational and increasingly privatized affair; the garbage dump, as in Tekin’s Tales from Garbage Hills, became newly available as the ground of contemporary artworks.