Garbage Army Stands Guard Over Tel Aviv Landfill

'Trash People,' an art exhibit by German artist HA Schult, has been touring the world for 18 years.

Tel Aviv was invaded on Wednesday by "Trash People," an art exhibit of 500 life-sized figures made from 20 tons of recycled iron, glass, computer parts, cans and industrial waste.

Appropriately, the modern-day version of China's terracotta warriors has taken up position on the Hiriya landfill outside Tel Aviv, now known as Ariel Sharon Park.

The exhibit, by German artist HA Schult, has been traveling around the world for 18 years, appearing, among other places, in Paris' La Defense, Moscow' Red Square, the Great Wall of China, Egypt's Pyramids in Giza, Piazza del Popolo in Rome and Antarctica.

"Trash People" will be on display until April 26.

Schult, 74, has been turning garbage into art and installations since 1969. “We live in the era of trash and we are running the risk of becoming trash ourselves,” he said of the exhibit in a 2011 interview.

Schult began touring with the “Trash People” in 1996. While 500 remain on tour, the other half of the original 1,000 sculptures have been put up for sale.

His other trashy concepts include filling Venice’s St. Mark’s Square with old newspapers in 1976 and a temporary hotel set up on a Spanish beach, built from 12 tons of debris that had washed ashore. That 2010 project was funded by a $720,000 sponsorship from Corona beer.

The Hiriya landfill is literally a mountain of trash. In use between 1952 and 1999, it rose to a height of 60 meters and expanded to hold 16 million cubic meters of garbage.