Mountains of discarded tires blight this landscape in California. Until the mid-1990s, it was common to dump waste tires because recycling options were limited. Shortly after Edward Burtynsky made this photograph, lightening struck the tire dump, creating a fire that burned for thirty days. The fire released toxic contaminants into the air and heavy metals and other pollutants threatened soil and ground water resources. The state completed an environmental clean-up of the site in 2007, at a cost of twenty million dollars.