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Daily Archives: June 24, 2017

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade : Finally, a recycling book about real world recycling economics

The economics of the global scrap trade. The scrap yards that i remember from my youth were what the author refers to as auto junkyards. I always believed they were the one and only place where scrap went, whether it was a car being sold in pieces or put into a crusher and turned into a pile of junk metal. I never really knew that there were places that specialized in other types of scrap, but i soon learned about the long history of scrap yards as i read this book. The author takes the reader on a tour of the various types of scrap that exist. From electrical wire, to electric motors, to plastics, to cars and to steel and aluminum and many more, each type of scrap has a market and a place in the recycling pecking order. In addition, there are places in china that specialize in each of these types of scrap. Our garbage is china’s, and to a lesser extent, india’s raw materials from which new products spring. Each has a growing economy and a developing middle class that wants the same goods that are present in the united states. In addition, we are still addicted to buying inexpensive merchandise from china and the “raw” materials have to come from somewhere.

In my continuing education about the global economy and what commodities are considered valuable, this was an essential read. I had been into the recycling craze back in the ’70s ( old hippie, giving away my age now. ) and given it quite some thought over the years. Most recently i have questioned the wisdom of buying new vehicles every few years even to have one that gets better gas mileage ( why i still have a 23 year old car that gets just as good mileage as many newer models, has no car payments and super low insurance). I have heard the environmental argument about the recycling plants in developing countries – so, duh, if you don’t like it, stop consuming so much stuff and then throwing it out. Better to go to china and get reused on some level than to dump it in the landfill. The author got me thinking what else gets landfilled that some inventive and enterprising person is going to invent a way to reuse it.

Adam minter made this an interesting. Adam minter made this an interesting treatment of what could be a very dry subject. He establishes his credibility and convinces the reader he knows his subject.

Where is your recycling going?. This book will change your whole attitude toward single stream recycling, or at least make you thing a whole bunch. Great pictures and a truly first hand look at what happens to recycled matter.

  • The Economics of The Global Scrap Trade
  • I never knew garbage until I knew Adam Minter
  • Highly Recommend

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Highly, highy recommend: junkyard planet. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the environment, especially any one with an opinion about recycling. It’s a fabulous read about the everyday items in our life and their afterlives. Provocative, insightful, you’ll never look at christmas tree lights the same way, and you may change your mind about opinions you hold dear.

In my continuing education about the global economy and what commodities are considered valuable, this was an essential read. I had been into the recycling craze back in the ’70s ( old hippie, giving away my age now. ) and given it quite some thought over the years. Most recently i have questioned the wisdom of buying new vehicles every few years even to have one that gets better gas mileage ( why i still have a 23 year old car that gets just as good mileage as many newer models, has no car payments and super low insurance). I have heard the environmental argument about the recycling plants in developing countries – so, duh, if you don’t like it, stop consuming so much stuff and then throwing it out. Better to go to china and get reused on some level than to dump it in the landfill. The author got me thinking what else gets landfilled that some inventive and enterprising person is going to invent a way to reuse it.

And a good deal about the foundations of the manufacturing business. A surprisingly interesting book. You learn about the alternative to mining, — the junk or recycling business, it’s impact on the environment, there’s lessons about canny businessmen, and a good deal about the foundations of the manufacturing business. An amazing amount of separate threads all centered around junk.

This books gives a a look into the world of what happens to our “stuff” once we are done using it up. It opens ones eyes to what we consider waste is indeed a resource. Well thought out and organized.

Surprising and evocative memoir of life in the trash trade. This is a very thought provoking book. I didn’t think this was the kind of book that would keep my attention, but it did. It is a very personal story but at the same time i learned so much about garbage, and what happens to it. This is not just a book for environmentalists. It is a book for all people that enjoy reading well written nonfiction. I especially enjoy the author’s descriptions of his interactions with his grandmother at the family scrap yard. I hope there will be a sequel.

The author covers the scrap and recycling business from start to finish. . This one had some very valuable information. It’s definitely worth readingto begin, i’d like to mention the (very few) negatives in the book: first, the author covers a wide area, however, he misses one of the great re-cycling activities of our time, ship breaking. I do wish that he had visited the ship breaking facility at alang as this would have been an extremely worthwhile addition to the book. Second, he mentions “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but he doesn’t go into the subjects of reduce & reuse very much. Both of these are minor gripes and only take away from the book, what might have been valuable extra information. Perhaps the reduce & reuse portions of the phrase can be the genesis of another (most welcome) book (more on this below). The author grew up in a scrap yard in minneapolis. I am slightly familiar with some of the historical topics that he mentioned as i have lived in the twin cities for the past 30+ years. There are two that might be of interest to the readers of this book.

The title says it, the author backs it up. Minter documents his trip through the trash universe that deepens daily around the globe. The evidence is overwhelming. The book is the work of an author who reveals in the space and time beyond his work as a daily reporter. There are climate deniers who seem to be able to stare evidence in the face and still claim that global warming is no threat. I have not read or heard anyone who denies that the developed world, and the developing world are producing garbage and junk at accelerating rates. Minter’s work puts flesh on the bones of those facts. The result is a book that should be a call to arms and public policy focused on a problem that is generally acknowledged but seems impervious to control.

I found this book to be very interesting, your typical “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” story line. Sad to say that shipping all the unused recycled metals to another country, is a double bladed sword. Recycled materials , with the right technology in place (melting and environmental) actually consumes much less energy than starting with mined ores. We’re just moving our environmental problems to a third world country, at the expense of their health. Well written and “eye opening”. I wish someone would write a book on the 75% of unrecycled glass containers that could save billions in dollars of energy and landfill costs.

And a good deal about the foundations of the manufacturing business. A surprisingly interesting book. You learn about the alternative to mining, — the junk or recycling business, it’s impact on the environment, there’s lessons about canny businessmen, and a good deal about the foundations of the manufacturing business. An amazing amount of separate threads all centered around junk.

Loved this book and all the pictures. Really explains the importance of international shipping.

This book will change your perspective on what you throw away forever. A mesmerizing, totally accessible read that leaves you in awe and admiration for the largely invisible world of scrap recyclers around the world.

Its a good documentary i hope the next generations are more aware and inventive about what to do with our waste disposal.

Really enjoyed this book and learning about the whole process on something that i never thought about. Like most people, i toss stuff in the recycle bin and ‘out of site, out of mind’. In conclusion, reuse is far more effective than recycle.

A very interesting look at the global recycling trade. The author did his research well. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to better understand the recycling trade.

This book will change your perspective on what you throw away forever. A mesmerizing, totally accessible read that leaves you in awe and admiration for the largely invisible world of scrap recyclers around the world.

Lots of info on a less than glamorous business model. The growing mountain of junk which we humans create has made gigantic landfills, but more and more often these days, it is recycled. On star trek, quark of the big ears always asks ‘where is the profit?’.And, behold, here it is, in the things the rest of us throw away. Great fortunes are now being made in the business of collecting, sorting and recycling ‘trash’, and this book tells us something about the world-wide prophets and practitioners of this increasingly well-organized and wealth-creating business. Toward the end, however, it felt as if the author was repeating himself and padding a little, but otherwise, this was an informative, eye-and-mind-opening book.

Great book on an arcane subject. Brilliant explication of what happens to metals in the global recycling business.

A very interesting look at the global recycling trade. The author did his research well. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to better understand the recycling trade.