Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes (Penguin Group, 2012)
As an environmental activist, I didn’t expect to learn anything new from this book, but I was really surprised. It was fascinating and well-written with many revelations. Humes doesn’t just quote statistics, he tells the story of trash from the perspective of real people who are involved with it. He interviews ocean explorers who research the “great Pacific garbage patch,” heavy machine operators who work in huge landfill operations, entrepreneurs who invented reusable bags and trash to energy facilities, artists whose medium is garbage, and families who strive for zero-waste lifestyles. Humes manages to simultaneously makes the reader very concerned and strangely optimistic about our future relationship with garbage. This is a must-read.