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Reading: Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

Wednesday, November 02, 2005
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
888 Valencia Street, San Francisco

Please join us for a reading by Heather Rogers, author of

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

888 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Wednesday, November 2, 7:30 pm

This is a book that refuses to be dumb, that
investigates the unmentionable and quietly (its
voice is gentle) shows how the liberal economy is
savaging the entire world. Pass it from hand to
hand: it will clear minds.

--John Berger

If you've ever wondered why our society spits out
so much garbage - I know I have! - then read
Heather Rogers' brilliant new book. With terrific
storytelling she uncovers one of the most
invisible but troubling aspects of modern life.
GONE TOMORROW cuts to the heart of what ails the

-Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop

The United States is the number one producer of
garbage on the planet; with just 5% of the global
population we generate 30% of the world's trash.
The average American throws away a staggering 4.5
pounds of rubbish daily, that's 1600 pounds each
year. But garbage is also a global problem; today
the middle of the Pacific Ocean is six times more
abundant with plastic waste than zooplankton.

Everyone generates garbage, but few of us know
what happens to it after we've throw it away. So
where does our garbage go? And what is its impact
on the planet?

In Gone Tomorrow journalist Heather Rogers
addresses these questions by guiding us through
the grisly, oddly fascinating underworld of
trash. Excavating the history of rubbish handling
from the 1800s-an era of garbage-grazing urban
hogs and dump-dwelling rag pickers-to the
present, with its high-tech "mega-fills" operated
by multi-billion-dollar garbage corporations,
Rogers investigates the roots of today's
waste-addicted culture.

Over the past 30 years, world wide garbage output
has exploded, doubling in the U.S. alone.Gone
Tomorrow explains that, despite popular wisdom,
this torrent of rubbish is not primarily the
responsibility of the consumer. In fact, shoppers
often have little choice in the wastes they
generate. Consider packaging: tossed cans,
bottles, boxes and wrappers now take up more than
a third of all U.S. landfill space. More prolific
today than ever before, packaging is garbage
waiting to happen.

Once buried or burned, trash is hardly benign.
Landfills, even the most state-of-the-art, are
environmental time bombs. They spew greenhouse
gases, and leach hazardous chemicals and heavy
metals into groundwater and soil. Waste
incinerators are no less disastrous. They emit
70% of the world's dioxin, and pollute the air
with toxic particulate matter and a host of gases
that cause acid rain.

Gone Tomorrow also explores the politics of
recycling. Though widely embraced-more Americans
recycle than vote-it has serious limitations,
and, as Rogers points out, should only be seen as
a first step toward more fundamental solutions.

Part exposé, part social commentary,Gone Tomorrow
traces the connection between modern industrial
production, consumer culture, and our disposable
lifestyle. Read it and you'll never think of
garbage the same way again.

Heather Rogers is a writer, journalist, and
filmmaker. Her documentary film Gone Tomorrow:
The Hidden Life of Garbage(2002) screened in
festivals around the globe. Her articles have
appeared in Utne Reader, Z Magazine, the Brooklyn
Rail, Bad Subjects, Punk Planet, Third Text, and
Art and Design. She currently lives in Brooklyn,
New York.

The New Press / October 6, 2005

Hardcover / $23.95 / 224 pages

ISBN: 156584-879-9

Added to the calendar on Tue, Nov 1, 2005 12:51AM
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