In defense of garbage /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Alexander, Judd H.
Imprint:Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1993.
Description:xii, 239 p. ; 25 cm.
Subject:Refuse and refuse disposal
Refuse and refuse disposal.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0275936279 (alk. paper) : $22.95
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. [219]-229) and index.
Review by Choice Review

A second book of monumental proportions published in a year's time "in defense of garbage"; the first, William Rathje's widely acclaimed Rubbish (CH, Feb'93). Both now serve to raise individual and collective societal and scientific consciousness to garbage, as an expression of who we are (or were) and what we do (or did), as an article of waste to be disposed of, or as a resource to be recovered and recycled. Each book in its own way is outstanding--Rathje's in a somewhat more popular and journalistic style, Alexander's in a more traditional academic format. They complement each other and both are eminently readable, entertaining, and very important statements about what garbage is, why it is important, who should care about it, and what is likely to happen in profligate societies (such as the Western nations of the world, particularly the US). The 13 fact-filled chapters begin with a few pages of historical perspective. Then Alexander's industrial and academic experience together with his sprightly literary style informs, educates, and instructs the reader on the nature of waste, the disposal problem, the value of garbage, the impact of packaging in a throw-away society, the benefits of source reduction, the promise and problems of reclaiming and recycling, the illusion of simple solutions based on biodegradability, the politics of garbage, and a host of other issues. But surprise, surprise! All is not lost. As did Rathje, Alexander sounds an optimistic note. Complete and accessible bibliography; essentially flawless editing. The only other thing one could ask for is an affordable price, and the publisher has given that. All levels. L. W. Fine; Columbia University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review