Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago

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Overview

In Garbage Wars, the sociologist David Pellow describes the politics of garbage in
Chicago. He shows how garbage affects residents in vulnerable communities and poses health risks to those who dispose of it. He follows the trash, the pollution, the hazards, and the people who encountered them in the period 1880-2000. What unfolds is a tug of war among social movements,
government, and industry over how we manage our waste, who benefits, and who pays the costs.Studies demonstrate that minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards. Pellow analyzes how and why environmental inequalities are created. He also explains how class and racial politics have influenced the waste industry throughout the history of Chicago and the United States. After examining the roles of social movements and workers in defining, resisting,
and shaping garbage disposal in the United States, he concludes that some environmental groups and people of color have actually contributed to environmental inequality.By highlighting conflicts over waste dumping, incineration, landfills, and recycling, Pellow provides a historical view of the garbage industry throughout the life cycle of waste. Although his focus is on Chicago, he places the trends and conflicts in a broader context, describing how communities throughout the United States have resisted the waste industry's efforts to locate hazardous facilities in their backyards. The book closes with suggestions for how communities can work more effectively for environmental justice and safe, sustainable waste management.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...insightfully assesses the ability of those at the bottom of the heap to mount an effective resistance for environmental justice." Jack Smith Environment

The MIT Press

"...An indispensable book for anyone interested in waste...or the continued effects of racism and classism in American society." Elizabeth D. Blum The Public Historian

The MIT Press

Publishers Weekly
With more landfills per square mile than any other American city, Chicago has had some particularly colorful controversies over waste disposal over the last century. University of Colorado-Boulder sociology professor David Naguib Pellow traces these conflicts in Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago, examining how poor neighborhoods come to be burdened with a disproportionate amount of pollution and refuse. He offers background on Chicago's waste management from the 1880s to the present, focusing in particular on the struggle for environmental justice of the last two decades, and shows how "environmentally friendly" technologies like recycling plants and waste-to-energy incinerators actually end up adding to the pollution in poor neighborhoods. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262661874
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 855,127
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Naguib Pellow is Don A. Martindale Endowed Chair in Sociology at the University of
Minnesota. Among his books are the award-winning Garbage Wars: The Struggle for
Environmental Justice in Chicago
(MIT Press, 2002) and Power, Justice, and the
Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement
(coedited with
Robert Brulle; MIT Press, 2005.)
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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Waste, Politics, and Environmental Injustice 1
2 A Social History of Waste, Race, and Labor, Part I: Movements, Technology, and Politics, 1880s-1930s 21
3 A Social History of Waste, Race, and Labor, Part II: Waste Management and Waste Conflicts, 1940s-2000 41
4 The Movement for Environmental Justice in Chicago and the United States 67
5 Working for the Movement: Recycling Labor at the Resource Center 101
6 The Next Evolutionary Stage: Recycling Waste or Recycling History? 131
7 Toward Environmental Justice 161
App The Principles of Environmental Justice 171
Notes 175
References 207
Index 229
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2004

    Dr. Pellow knows how to talk trash.

    This book was the most informative book I've ever read about the politics of garbage. Fascinating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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