From the Publisher
"Covers fascinating, stinky terrain." —The New York Times
"Cogent and beautifully written . . a compelling commentary on the state of contemporary society." —David Harvey
"Consistently engaging . . . an intriguing look into an often misunderstood and overlooked industry." —Publishers Weekly
"Out of sight, but, thanks to Heather Rogers, not out of mind. We spend an awful lot of time thinking about getting and spending, and next to none about disposing—this splendidly documented book is just the thing we need." —Bill McKibben
In this readable and well-researched study, writer, journalist, and filmmaker Rogers tackles garbage and the social, economic, political, and technological waste disposal choices and dilemmas that our communities face. Americans dispose of more than 700 billion pounds of paper, glass, plastic, wood, food, metal, clothing, electronics, and other refuse annually. The author examines the available options in dealing with this issue-e.g., feeding organic garbage to pigs, dumping in landfills, burning and incineration, exporting to other states or countries, and recycling and reusing disposables-and discusses their benefits and drawbacks. Her account of the criminal elements that once controlled New York City's garbage industry and how the city cleaned it up in the 1990s by establishing a garbage corporation reads like a thriller. Of particular note is Rogers's hard look at consumer habits, industrial imperatives, and the attitudes and lifestyles that generate extraordinary amounts of waste and pose a threat to the health of the planet. For on-site observations of garbage and the individuals who make their living from it, don't overlook Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash. Both books complement each other, offering readers a panoramic view of the garbage industry. Recommended for most collections.-Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.