Garbology Comments

Garbology is a very interesting book to me. In the introduction , Humes addressed a bunch of ideas about people’s different views on waste, and as I also had the opportunity to attend the waste symposium last friday, it really gave me a lot of background information before reading this book. As a psychology major who have also learned about hoarding from the obsessive-compulsive disorder category, I have also had the chance to learn about various treatments used in treating this behavior. However, I did had a concern the same as Humes addressed in the book, that he thinks the psychological treatment is only thinking about solving people’s problem, but there is very little thought given to the the refuse of hoarding, and little concern is made in how people generated such amount of trash.

In chapter 1, the author discusses what the landfills are made up of and how people could contribute to them by consumption of goods. He also discusses how people in the U.S. have influenced the environment and since the consumption levels are high, and they need to sell garbage to foreign countries to dispose of. This really surprised me because I did not know China takes these much garbage from foreign countries and dispose them.

In chapter 4, Humes talked about the history of landfills. He talked about that America decided to create power plants to convert landfill gas to electricity in 2004. However, there are many environmental issues it brings to the local people, such as fracking that poisoned the local water. Chapter 7 talks about where do our daily creation of trash goes,  along with his concerns about people are less likely to think about where the trash is going once they throw it. It really surprised me when he said that the trashman needed to travel over 200 miles to a trash dump, and I felt that I have less concerns about where the is going to.

Overall, this book is a very interesting introduction about the garbages around us, and it made me realized that I had such less concerns about it. Along with the Waste Symposium I attended this week, I felt both this book and the event has taught me a great amount of knowledge about our daily creation of garbages, and I feel I should start to pay more attention about them.

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