The diploma thesis concentrates on waste and trash used as materials in fine arts with regards to the past and present.Within the thesis, the author tried to give a precise definition of waste and trash. Moreover, the difficulties concerning environment and society were taken into consideration in this context.The usage of waste material in fine arts especially became a subject in the first decades of the 20th century. Through the deviation from traditional appreciation of art, unusual materials for art works were accepted and therefore as well the trash.Within this thesis, various artists of the past and present are mentioned to visualize important relations. Especially the new artistic genres of the 20th century were essential for the new representations of fine art. Examples are the Dadaism, Surrealism, New Realism, Pop-Art as well as Happening-Art.In temporary art, we find numerous artists, who integrate waste and trash in their artistic creations, although most of them have different approaches concerning the usage of waste.Some artists use waste as a medium to make people aware of social and environmental problems. Furthermore, the topic waste material is also picked up by designers and architects, especially regarding recycling.Temporary art allows a great freedom of artistic creations, because the past taboos vanished. It is for example even accepted to include mortal remains of humans in artwork today. Thereby, certain artists try to confront the observers with inhumane circumstances for example.