- 9:11 am - Sun, Jun 10, 2012
- 51 notes
Last week, we solicited your questions for journalist Edward Humes, who seems to love trash as much as we do. His new book is Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash.
The rest over on Freakonomics, but here’s one interesting bit from Humes:
Landfills are a waste of valuable resources. The single largest component of trash going into landfills today is packaging and containers — instant trash that could be recycled, but isn’t. Making energy out of trash is a far less wasteful alternative — which is why Germany, for example, recycles 66 percent of its trash, makes energy out of the rest, and landfills virtually none. By contrast, America sends 69 percent to landfills, 25 percent to recycling, and the little left over to energy plants. We lag far behind the rest of the developed world on this score.
The average American is making twice as much trash today as in 1960. Has all that landfilling made us more prosperous? Thriftier? More secure? Created more jobs? Being less wasteful, on the other hand, is both a great economic and environmental strategy.
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