Into our trash cans go dead batteries, dirty diapers, bygone burritos,
broken toys, tattered socks, eight-track cassettes, scratched CDs, banana
peels But where do these things go next? In a country that consumes and
then casts off more and more, what actually happens to the things we throw
Named one of the New York Times Top 100 Notable Books for 2005.
In a style reminiscent of Fast Food Nation, Royte investigates what happens to our garbage, balancing conversational reporting with technical details, covering both the economic and ecological perspectives of garbage. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The New York Times - William Grimes
In Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash, Elizabeth Royte shines a light on everyone's dirty secret. Like a garbage detective, she follows the used plastic bags, drink containers, old newspapers and, yes, bodily excretions that disappear into the trash can or down the toilet, only to reappear somewhere else, out of sight and out of mind...it's a fascinating, sometimes tiring, often depressing tour.
The Washington Post - Jabari Asim
Royte discovers that alternatives, such as recyclable paperboard boxes, generate waste as well. "Which was preferable? The choices, like so many at the intersection of consumerism and environmental concern, were agonizing." The difficulty of making wise, meaningful decisions is a factor Royte often acknowledges in her praiseworthy book. But just as important as her admission that she doesn't have all the answers is her persuasive demonstration that no one does.
All in all, this is a comprehensive, readable foray into a world we'd prefer not to heed-but should.
Library Journal - Irwin Weintraub
Royte's exploration of the economic, territorial, and ecological perspectives of garbage disposal adds up to a fascinating trail of trash. Recommended for all who throw things away.
While there are obvious ways to cope with waste-Royte clearly outlines them-the biggest problem is mindset: we're accustomed to the ease of the toss. Royte is a natural storyteller and skillful natural historian. Few others could have pulled off turning our feculence into fascination.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Starred Review. What her staggering expose tells us is that as the quantity, variety, and toxicity of our garbage increases, we must, like nature, evolve ways to reclaim and reuse everything we make.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Marge An Eye Opener Elizabeth Royte takes a journey most of us never think about .. Where DOES the trash go? Who cares?? Well, as she does her personal journey and research, we learn we should ALL care. Reading the book resulted in some immediate changes (NOT... Read More
With erudite prose and carefully chosen illustrations, this unique work of metatourism explores what cities are and how they work. It covers history, customs and language, districts, transport, money, work, shops and markets, and tourist sites, creating a fantastically detailed portrait of the city through history and into the future.
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