July 25, 2005 12:00 PM

On the Secret Trail of Trash

by Elizabeth Royte

Looking for exercise one day, author Royte took a paddle along a Brooklyn waterway—where floating trash made her wonder where her own garbage went. She headed for landfills, treatment plants and recycling centers, dug up unsettling stats (“Every American [generates] 1.31 tons of garbage a year”) and ended up worried. Royte’s eye-opening book warns that even if we recycle, unless we tackle how much is made—and how much we want—”we’ll never escape our own mess.” In a throwaway culture, a must-read.

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