Islands, long portrayed in the western imaginary as remote, static and bounded entities, have increasingly come to be viewed as places constantly in the making: as connected sites formed by complex and shifting relations and assemblages of people and things. This paper considers the role that waste plays in this process through exploration of how discarded and unwanted matter decays,
moves and comes to rest in relation to a small island in the Maldives. It shows how thinking about the island through waste and its circulation via the actions of human and non-human agents reveals the ways in which the island is constituted and connected to other places. The paper also examines
people’s daily, practical engagements with the island’s waste, and how these ongoing interactions and encounters shape the ways in which the island is being made, materially and aesthetically. In these ways, we show how thinking through waste contributes to how we understand place-making and specifically to the making of islandness.