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We can no longer cope with our waste. Every hour in the UK we throw away enough rubbish to fill the Albert Hall - a statistic quoted so often that perhaps we've stopped imagining what it means. And every year the flow accelerates. Yet our systems for disposal remain as crude as ever. Plan A: chuck it in a hole. Plan B: dump it on someone else's doorstep.
The story of our rubbish - a mucky saga of carelessness, greed and opportunism, wasted opportunity and official bungling - is at the heart of Richard Girling's book. But Rubbish! is also a plea for us to reconsider other kinds of waste: our trashing of the landscape; our defilement of towns and cities with tawdry architecture and thoughtless planning; our obliteration of wildlife; the unstoppable floods of junk that clog our mailboxes, litter the skies and foul the airwaves.
`Rubbish!' may not be a conventional battle cry but this is unmistakably a call to arms. Not simply for the three `R's - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. But for us to fight for investment in new ideas; to put brave initiative ahead of reliance on systems that might once have been innovative but which are now crumbling before our eyes. Hard-hitting, passionate, provocative, Girling is also persuasive, often funny and always entertaining.