by Elizabeth Royte
published by Little, Brown and Company
© 2005 by Elizabeth Royte
Click on image to purchase.
From The New Yorker
Royte is a journalist with a nose for the "sordid afterlife"
of trash, thoroughly at home in the putrid world of "Coney Island
whitefish" (used condoms); "disco rice" (maggots); and—the
darling of American consumer culture and the nemesis of waste activists—"Satan's
resin" (plastic). Her book takes the form of a quest for the surprising
final resting places of her yogurt cups, beer bottles, personal computer,
and organic-fig-cookie packaging, and leads to an impassioned attack
on overconsumption in America. If Royte does not quite demonstrate the
muckraking skills of an Eric Schlosser in "Fast Food Nation,"
she does expose the feculent underside of our appetite for things and
challenges her readers to disprove the resigned assessment of a former
New York sanitation commissioner: "In the end, the garbage will
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