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Man saves all his trash for a year in statement about consumerism

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BERKELEY, Calif. - Ari Derfel leads a trashy life. He just wants to remind everyone else that they do, too.

The 35-year-old Berkeley caterer said he has saved every piece of trash he has generated over the past year to see how much garbage one person creates.

The experiment began as a way to examine his own consumption habits, Derfel said, but grew into a statement about consumerism and the environment.

"When we throw something away, what does 'away' mean?" Derfel said. "There's no such thing as 'away."'

The refuse - including every tissue, receipt, food wrapper and plastic bottle - lies in bins in the kitchen and living room of Derfel's apartment. He composts his food scraps.

Derfel said he eventually hopes to donate his accumulated waste to a sculptor.

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