It is shown that the termination detection problem for distributed computations can be modeled as an instance of the garbage collection problem. Consequently, algorithms for the termination detection problem are obtained by applying transformations to garbage collection algorithms. The transformation can be applied to collectors of the "mark--and--sweep" type as well as to reference counting garbage collectors. As examples, the scheme is used to transform the distributed reference counting protocol of Lermen and Maurer, the weighted reference counting protocol, the local reference counting protocol, and Ben--Ari's mark--and--sweep collector into termination detection algorithms. Known termination detection algorithms as well as new variants are obtained. Categories and Subject Descriptors: D.1.3 [Programming Techniques]: Concurrent Programming; C.2.4 [Computer--Communication Networks]: Distributed Systems---Network Operating Systems; D.4.2 [Operating Systems]: Storage Management--- D..