The backdrop for wedding photos is a mountain with 4,000 tons of garbage, taller than the four-story building next to it. The couple poses smiling in front of the stinking landscape. Hey, the bride, who is wearing a classic and pristine white dress, tries to hold her breath. The stench is unbearable. The photographer, incredulous, quickly takes several snapshots. In his 30-year career with the camera, it is the first time that newlyweds have hired him to do a photo shoot in a landfill.
In Taiwan, an island the size of Belgium where they live 23 million people, there are several ideal corners to capture that moment that heads the wedding album. In the capital, Taipei, it is common to choose a panoramic view of the entire city from the top of the largest skyscraper, which has 106 floors. If you want a more natural environment, you will find a long list of national parks. There is also no shortage of postcards on the beaches or in Buddhist temples. But no one had ever chosen a stage surrounded by garbage.
Hseuh had the idea. She was the one who chose Puli, a city in the center of the island that has a big problem with excess waste, to take photographs. The mountain of garbage is in the middle of a neighborhood, next to the waste management office. There it is piled up until trucks take it to a treatment plant, which is usually once a month, whereupon it accumulates quickly again.
Hseuh uploaded the session to his Facebook account last Saturday and the snapshots went viral. Local newspapers sought out the bride to ask why she had chosen the Puli garbage dump for her wedding photos. Hseuh responded that sought to draw attention to waste disposal problems affecting many cities in Taiwan.
Their environmental denunciation was widely applauded in a nation that, despite the couple’s successful performance, is an example in environmental policy. In two decades, Taiwan has gone from being baptized as garbage islandto boast of having one of the best waste management programs in the world.