Where Does Your Trash Go?: The Hidden Life of Garbage

We all know the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Unfortunately, we’d like to think that recycling goes a long way into decreasing the amount of trash that goes into landfills. However, it’s the reducing and reusing that are exponentially more effective actions in the stride to preserve our delicate environment. Recycling is perhaps a mere drop in the bucket compared to reducing the trash we produce in the first place.

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage is a book that probes the increasing amounts of garbage, landfills, the politics of recycling and the export of trash to developing countries:

“Eat a take-out meal, buy a pair of shoes, or read a newspaper, and you’re soon faced with a bewildering amount of rubbish. The United States is the planet’s number one producer of trash; each American throws out 4.5 pounds daily. How did we end up with this much waste, and where does it all go? By excavating the history of rubbish handling from the 1800s “an era of garbage-grazing urban hogs and dump-dwelling rag pickers” to the present, with its high- tech “mega-fills” operated by multi-billion-dollar garbage corporations, Rogers answers these questions with a “lively authorial voice” (New York Press), offering a potent argument for change.”

Amazingly, 30% of all landfill space is occupied by packaging, the biggest category of household waste! The history of trash is an enlightening one, and the future is increasingly frightening given what is at hand. Check out Gone Tomorrow for an insightful look into the world of garbage and what it spells for our environment, and just where that soda can goes once it leaves your hands.

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