On The Secret Trail Of Trash

With proper treatment, even the story of garbage can sparkle.

Accomplished freelance writer Elizabeth Royte brings "participatory zeal to a local story of global importance. A kayak trip near her Brooklyn home sets Royte to wondering about the final resting place of the estimated 1.3 tons of refuse she - like every American -- generates each year.

That wondering draws her deep into the world of the sanitation worker, whose work is statistically more dangerous than police work or firefighting. And it takes her far from the sack-strewn alleys, into the "sordid afterlife of garbage" in the byzantine universe of transfer stations, "scum concentrators," landfills, and incinerators - places with their own lexicons, class topography, pathogens, episodes of secrecy and corruption."

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story: A trashy tale well told


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95