Alexander sides with the critics of pollution alarmism, and asserts that no garbage crisis exists . . . [His] reasoned insistence on the economic and technical parameters of handling trash precisely balances the nonacidic, nonalkaline needs of the current affairs shelf.
This other side of the story is the first to show how waste products contribute positively to the economy, and to place garbage in perspective when considering the total use of America's resources. Alexander comes to this subject with 40 years of experience in making and recycling disposable products and in studying litter and municipal waste issues. He sees the garbage crisis as a political, not a physical, problem and introduces a non-cash national solution. He deals with popular misconceptions about the quantity and growth of garbage, resource consumption, forest productivity, packaging, disposal taxes, landfills, incineration and recycling. Written for open-minded lay readers, policymakers, professionals, and serious-minded students, this is an important contribution to the study of our current environmental situation.
Alexander proposes that the problem does not necessarily lie with the quantity of our resources, population growth, affluence, or with space or pollution, but rather with politics, fear, and misinformation. Alexander offers a survey of the history of garbage, considers the quantity and contents of the waste, and provides us with ways to save our nonrenewable resources. Especially compelling is the discussion of the characteristics and products of our throwaway society. Also covered is the role of packaging, measures for source reduction, the promise and problems of recycling different types of material, biodegradation, compost and litter, and the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste. In Defense of Garbage is about the politics of garbage. Reading this eye-opening book is a sure way to become part of the solution to one of the most hotly-debated problems in the world today.