A lively investigation of the intimate connections we maintain with the things we toss away
It's hard to think of trash as anything but a growing menace. Our communities face crises over what to do with the mountains of rubbish we produce, the enormous amount of biological waste generated by humans and animals, and the truckloads of electronic equipment judged to be obsolete. All this effluvia poses widespread problems for human health, the well-being of the planet, and the quality of our lives.
But though our notorious habits of disposal have put us well on the way to making the earth inhospitable to life, our relation to rejectamenta includes much more than shedding and tossing. In Trash Talks, philosopher Elizabeth V. Spelman explores the extent to which we rely on trash and waste to make sense of our lives.
I feel like this book could have been better. The book has so much potential to be interesting that I picked it up, but the presentation of the subject itself was dry. I already knew trash is used in forensics. For whatever reason it was drilled into our heads that police and criminals alike have motive to go through your trash when I was in elementary school.
It was kind of interesting to find out what other countries do with trash that they import, but it really wasn't anything worth buying a book for. A google search or well placed tumblr post can easily replace it.
I feel with more every day language and hypothetical situations (like the id fraudster or policemen) with less of an academic approach to the matter would have made this book much more interesting.
As it stands it's pretty much a long essay written by a nerd who likes trash.
If you have the patience and imagination to apply 'garbology' to imaginary situations yourself, this is a good reference book for writers. For the average reader, there are better nonfiction books out there.