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Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade | [Adam Minter]

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter - veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner - travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment. Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high-tech facilities capable of processing a jumbo jet's worth of recyclable trash every day. Along the way, we meet an unforgettable cast of characters.
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Publisher's Summary

When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday's newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don't want and turn it into something you can't wait to buy.

In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter - veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner - travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment. Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high-tech facilities capable of processing a jumbo jet's worth of recyclable trash every day. Along the way, we meet an unforgettable cast of characters who've figured out how to build fortunes from what we throw away: Leonard Fritz, a young boy "grubbing" in Detroit's city dumps in the 1930s; Johnson Zeng, a former plastics engineer roaming America in search of scrap; and Homer Lai, an unassuming barber turned scrap titan in Qingyuan, China. Junkyard Planet reveals how "going green" usually means making money - and why that's often the most sustainable choice, even when the recycling methods aren't pretty.

With unmatched access to and insight on the junk trade, and the explanatory gifts and an eye for detail worthy of a John McPhee or William Langewiesche, Minter traces the export of America's recyclables and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it. What emerges is an engaging, colorful, and sometimes troubling tale of consumption, innovation, and the ascent of a developing world that recognizes value where Americans don't. Junkyard Planet reveals that we might need to learn a smarter way to take out the trash.

©2013 Adam Minter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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    AVIAD 03-09-14
    AVIAD 03-09-14 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    ratings
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    41
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    "Great Read"
    Would you listen to Junkyard Planet again? Why?

    yes, it's well written and well read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the non-nonsense approach. no "green" environmentalism, just the facts in a concise way. I am an environmental engineer, working in the biofuels arena and dealing with China.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Oakridge, OR, United States 01-04-14
    Amazon Customer Oakridge, OR, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2002

    Nature, animals, sociobiology, science, spirituality art, travel, healthy cooking are my main interests. I love a great novel but don't enjoy works where there is no real point just one description of people after another. I wont read Steven King anymore because of one scene in his book that put an experience in my head I didn't need to have.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enter a world you never really knew existed"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would because its interesting to see how our garbage can become someone's livelihood and how social ideas on what is appropriate use of objects can change the world


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Junkyard Planet?

    when the Chinese junk merchant was being charming to try and buy the junk to send to China to be sorted and reprocessed


    What aspect of Stephen McLaughlin’s performance would you have changed?

    none I liked it just as it was


    Could you see Junkyard Planet being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    it would be an interesting documentary


    Any additional comments?

    I don't like the new review setup where you make answering the questions mandatory I would prefer ot write my own review and then perhaps be quried

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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