Trash Talk
An Encyclopedia of Garbage and Recycling around the World
by Robert William Collin
September 2015, 484pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-508-4
$121, £94, 106€, A166
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-509-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Diseases like Ebola are often transmitted as a result of poor waste management.

This fascinating reference offers a unique take on recycling and trash, tracing the role of waste in public health, climate change, and sustainability around the world.

As the popularity of sustainability grows and climate change becomes an accepted reality, experts point to trash and waste as the link between environmental and public health. This detailed reference—one of the most comprehensive resources available on the subject—examines garbage disposal on a global level, from the history of waste management, to the rise of green movements and recycling programs, to the environmental problems caused by incineration and overflowing landfills. According to urban planning scholar Robert William Collin, accounting for waste will improve the chances for environmental protection, public health, and sustainability.

This country-by-country guide studies waste management practices and related topics from around the world, including garbage strikes in Italy, successful recycling programs in Switzerland, trash in the streets of India, and the garbage patch floating in the Pacific Ocean. Country entries cover a brief history of garbage disposal, current methods of removal, recycling, and waste management problems specific to the region. Additional content addresses air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, E-waste, and hazardous and nuclear wastes.


  • Includes comparisons of the waste, public health, and emissions profile for many countries
  • Provides a general introduction to the issue of global waste management
  • Reveals the various methods of disposal across the world
  • Features charts, graphs, and tables that present facts and figures to illustrate key statistics
  • Shares interesting facts and accounts of garbage disposal problems
Robert William Collin, JD, is a senior research scholar at Willamette University. Previously, he taught at the University of Virginia School of Environmental and Urban Planning, University of Oregon School of Environmental Studies, University of Auckland New Zealand, and University of Cambridge England. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Energy Choices: How to Power the Future; Encyclopedia of Sustainability; and The Environmental Protection Agency: Cleaning Up America's Act. He received his juris doctor degree from Albany Law School, a master's degree in the science of urban planning from Columbia University, and a master's degree in law from the University of Missouri.


"This work is designed to 'give entry-level readers an environmental and human context for the complexities of modern waste issues for a global and local perspective and in a modern, practical, and comprehensive way.' The thematic essays and the introduction serve this expressed function very well. . . . This work serves as a brief introduction to garbage and recycling and an outline of waste management practices in most countries throughout the world."—Reference Reviews, September 27, 2016
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