• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of May 29, 1998

This week, facts about... the science of Garbology.

Transcript

CURWOOD: At the University of Arizona in Tucson, they're celebrating the chore of taking the garbage in. For 25 years, archaeologists with The Garbage Project have been analyzing the contents of trash, and their digging and sorting efforts have unearthed some surprises. They found 25-year-old newspapers, and other items that one might expect to rot, showing that land fills tend to mummify, and not compost our garbage. They've also found that Americans waste 10% to 15% of the food we buy. And, landfills are mostly filled with mostly recyclable materials, like paper, and construction debris. Garbologists also say that if you add up all the toxic products that households in a typical community send to the dump, it often equals the amount of hazardous waste produced by the same area's commercial sector. While residues from auto care, lawn, garden, and cleaning products are the major culprits, cosmetics also contribute to the toxic stew. Excavations reveal that Tucson residents alone, throw away 350,000 bottles of nail polish. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth almanac.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.