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Garbage In, Garbage Out

Solving the Problems with Long-Distance Trash Transport

Vivian E. Thomson

Publication Year: 2009

Where does garbage go? Increasingly, trash is transported across state lines and ends up in another state's back yard. Thomson uses Virginia's situation as the second-highest importer of trash in the US as a touchstone for exploring much larger questions about American wastefulness, consumption, and environmental justice with comparisons to Europe and Japan.

Published by: University of Virginia Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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p. vii

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pp. ix-xii

A theme lying just below the surface of this book is that everything is connected to everything else. In similar fashion, while conducting research for and writing this book, I was dependent on the work and special skills of many professionals. To them I owe my first thanks. ...

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INTRODUCTION Everything Is Trash

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pp. 1-10

Trash is an inherently contradictory material. On the one hand, it has attractive qualities, at least for some of us. Archaeologists delight in garbage because the cast-off things of peoples long gone tell us about how they lived and died. Kids and dogs paw through trash looking for fun, interesting, useful items, ...

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CHAPTER 1 All Garbage Is Local: Trash Management in the United States

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pp. 11-31

Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill was fond of saying that ‘‘all politics is local.’’ With this pithy phrase Mr. O’Neill was conveying both an observation and a prescription. First, he was stressing that local and regional concerns are often key factors in national elections. And, second, he was observing that politicians must ...

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CHAPTER 2 Waste Not, Want Not: Are Americans the World’s Premier Waste Makers?

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pp. 32-63

‘‘Trash’’ is a relative concept.1 The meaning of the term varies depending on the time and on the circumstances. Historian Susan Strasser demonstrates that through the late nineteenth century Americans evinced a strong attachment to the ideas of thrift and reuse. All classes embraced these notions, which were exemplified ...

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CHAPTER 3 Costs and Benefits of Interstate Trash Transport: Landfill Capacity, Schools, and Environmental Justice

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pp. 64-90

The number of landfills in the United States has dropped dramatically in recent memory. According to EPA, in 1988 there were almost 8,000 landfills in the United States, but by 2006 that number had decreased to 1,754. The National Solid Waste Management Association estimates that there were 20,000 landfills in the 1970s, ...

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CHAPTER 4 Regulatory and Legislative Efforts to Limit the Movement of Trash

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pp. 91-111

It should come as no surprise to learn that municipal governments like to manage where trash goes within their jurisdictions. Garbage presents health hazards and it is aesthetically displeasing. For more than a century municipal authorities have assumed responsibility for ensuring that trash removal takes place, ...

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CHAPTER 5 Solving the Genuine Problems of Long-Distance Trash Transport

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pp. 112-132

In the classic expression of the policymaking process, problems are identified and then the appropriate solutions are formulated. But, to adapt a well-known expression to the policymaking world, many’s the slip between problem identification and policy solution. Sometimes the problems are incorrectly or imprecisely described. ...


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pp. 133-146


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pp. 147-162


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pp. 163-173

E-ISBN-13: 9780813928715
E-ISBN-10: 0813928710
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813928241
Print-ISBN-10: 0813928249

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 9 b&w photos (9 redacted), 7 figures, 6 tables
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 753978361
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Garbage In, Garbage Out

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Subject Headings

  • Refuse and refuse disposal -- United States -- Management.
  • Refuse and refuse disposal -- Transportation -- United States.
  • Interstate commerce -- United States.
  • Refuse and refuse disposal -- Government policy -- United States.
  • Waste disposal sites -- United States -- Management.
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