By: Heather Rogers
288 pages, B/w photos
Every day a phantasmagoric rush of spent, used and broken riches flows through our homes, offices, and cars. The United States is the planet's number-one producer of rubbish; the average American discards over 1600 pounds annually. As The Observer article shows the UK is not much better. But where does all that rubbish go? The full bin placed on the pavement might seem like the end of the line, but it actually marks the beginning of what many now euphemistically call the "waste stream."
In Gone Tomorrow, Heather Rogers guides us through the grisly, oddly fascinating world of trash. Part expose, part social commentary, award-winning journalist Rogers exposes the connections between modern industrial production, consumer culture, and our disposable lifestyle. To investigate the roots of our waste-addicted culture, Rogers excavates the history of rubbish handling from the 1800s - an era of rubbish-grazing urban hogs and dump-dwelling rag pickers - to the present day, with its brutally violent mob-controlled cartels and high tech "mega-fills" operated by billion-dollar corporations.
Rubbish production in the West has doubled in the last thirty years. About 80 per cent of our products are used once, then thrown away. 95 per cent of all plastic, two thirds of all glass containers, and 50 per cent of all aluminium beverage cans are never recycled; instead they just get burned or buried.
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