Where Will All The Garbage Go?
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The mounting problem of solid waste disposal (Americans produce about 600,000 tons of garbage a day) is the subject of this able survey that documents the dimensions of the problem, reports on present and projected methods -- for spreading and compacting refuse (in the sanitary landfill), baking trash (pyrolysis), salvaging waste autos (the Japanese Carbecue), etc., duly notes the snags in each proposal, and points to necessary changes in policies, laws, and techniques. Superfluous packaging (comprising 20% of our solid wastes), disposable items, and abandoned autos receive particular disapprobation, and the possibilities of reuse (large scale composting) and recycling (of bottles, paper, etc.) are explored (with supporting statistics: for every Sunday edition of the New York Times 80,000 trees must be chopped down). Though Marshall's closing suggestions as to "what you can do" amount to just a drop in the trash bucket, he correctly stresses the need for individual commitment, noting that local governments are over their heads in collection problems and thus unlikely to go overboard on disposal reform, and that the federal government, despite the encouraging passage of the Resource Recovery Act in 1970, has not come through with the authorized funds or the desired attention. Though Suzanne Hilton's How Do They Get Rid of It (1970) plows through much of the same material, Marshall offers a more incisive assessment of the prospect of getting out from under.
Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
ISBN: 0698304276
Publisher: Coward-McCann
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1971