Garbology: Brad Brodek 11/15

This book is very well written and has a lot of interesting information of garbage. It talks about the history and future of garbage dumps. It talks about how much garbage we make a year and where it comes from. As of now an average person will generate 102 tons of garbage over their lifetime. Another thing the talk about is the problems this trash is starting to cause and expected to cause. I chose a few interesting chapters and wrote about them below.

Chapter 1:

Chapter one is interesting because it talks about Mike who works at the Los Angeles Puente hills landfill. Here he runs a bulldozer and piles up garbage into this giant mountain. There they have built a massive mountain of garbage that has grown to 500 feet high. This hill consists of about 130 million tons of garbage. This chapter is really interesting because it brings up the questions of “Where are you going to put the trash now?” and “Why do we have so much trash, and what might we do to make less of it?”. These are questions that humans are starting to run into because of the amount of land we have used already for landfills and the amount of garbage humans make. We need to find mitigation techniques to deal with this problems because the population is only going to up resulting more garbage produced.

Chapter 8:

This chapter was also interesting because it talks about Bill Rathje who became the first garbologist and while doing that did some shocking studies. In the U.S. Army alone they threw away food that was still edible and not just a little bit of it, a lot of it. He found out that of all the garbage about 17% of it was food waste. They later began to save 2.5 million pounds of wasted foods. Also while doing this he talked to many households about garbage and many of these people believe that what they were throwing away was going to decompose and not take up land but in reality they just sat at landfills. This chapter shows the lack of knowledge some people have with dealing with their garbage they think that its out of sight and out of mind but forget it sits at these landfills.

Chapter 10:

Andy Keller went to a dump and his life forever changed. He could not believe what he saw and how horrible the stench was. He talked about how many plastic bags he saw everywhere. This led him to start a reusable bag company that has expanded to a large size because of the information he has shared about the paper bags littering the earth and never going to go away. One of the craziest stats I have ever read came from this chapter and this is if you tied together all the bags on the earth it could wrap around the earth 776 time! That is a lot of bags that will never decompose.He then tried to get people to change food containers, but that did not work as well because businesses saw that they were losing customers so they gave up on this idea.


Project update:

I have looked into the energy monitors you emailed me. I think I am going to get the “Kill A Watt Control” because of the lower cost and ability to do everything i need to get this project rolling but still not 100% sure. I also have talked to another librarian about this and they seem to have no problem with it.

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