Garbage In, Garbage Out: Solving the Problems with Long-Distance Trash Transport [NOOK Book]

Overview

Your garbage is going places you’d never imagine. What used to be sent to the
local dump now may move hundreds of miles by truck and barge to its final resting place. Virtually
all forms of pollution migrate, subjected to natural forces such as wind and water currents. The
movement of garbage, however, is ...

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Garbage In, Garbage Out: Solving the Problems with Long-Distance Trash Transport

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Overview

Your garbage is going places you’d never imagine. What used to be sent to the
local dump now may move hundreds of miles by truck and barge to its final resting place. Virtually
all forms of pollution migrate, subjected to natural forces such as wind and water currents. The
movement of garbage, however, is under human control. Its patterns of migration reveal much about
power sharing among state, local, and national institutions, about the Constitution’s
protection of trash transport as a commercial activity, and about competing notions of social
fairness. In Garbage In, Garbage Out, Vivian Thomson looks at Virginia’s
status as the second-largest importer of trash in the United States and uses it as a touchstone
for exploring the many controversies around trash generation and disposal.

Political
conflicts over waste management have been felt at all levels of government. Local governments who
want to manage their own trash have fought other local governments hosting huge landfills that
depend on trash generated hundreds of miles away. State governments have tried to avoid becoming the
dumping grounds for cities hundreds of miles away. The constitutional questions raised in these
battles have kept interstate trash transport on Congress’s agenda since the early 1990s.
Whether the resulting legislative proposals actually address our most critical garbage-related
problems, however, remains in question.

Thomson sheds much-needed light on these
problems. Within the context of increased interstate trash transport and the trend toward
privatization of waste management, she examines the garbage issue from a number of
perspectives--including the links between environmental justice and trash management, a
critical evaluation of the theoretical and empirical relationship between economic growth and
environmental improvement, and highlighting the ways in which waste management practices in the US
differ from those in the European Union and Japan. Thomson then provides specific, substantive
recommendations for our own policymakers.

Everything eventually becomes trash. As we explore
the long, often surprising, routes our garbage takes, we begin to understand that it is something
more than a mere nuisance that regularly "disappears" from our curbside. Rather, trash
generation and management reflect patterns of consumption, political choices over whether garbage is
primarily pollution or commerce, the social distribution of environmental risk, and how our daily
lives compare with those of our counterparts in other industrialized nations.

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Editorial Reviews

Perspectives on Politics

Thomson's commitment to reduction in the amount of trash is welcome and important; it comes as a breath of fresh air within the policy literature on garbage transportation. Moreover, it digs beneath the surface of our trash transport problems in a normatively admirable manner.

Journal of Southern History

This work covers new comparative territory, provides a rich source of information on waste legislation, and helps us understand the political reasons why our trash travels so far.

John Wargo

This topic is of immense importance. Garbage In, Garbage Out is original and is a substantial contribution to the field of environmental policy. Thomson demonstrates convincingly that the problem of solid waste management is far more complex and serious than most would conceive.

Bruce J. Edmonds III

Garbage In-Garbage Out is an outstanding work that sheds much light on the current solid waste business model past and future.I highly recommend it to anyone in our industry, and to all who care how we dispose of waste and where.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813928715
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • File size: 884 KB

Meet the Author

Vivian E. Thomson is Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and of Politics at
the University of Virginia, where she is Director of the Environmental Thought and Practice program.
From 2002-2010 she served on the State Air Pollution Control Board as member and Vice
Chair.

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