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Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Adam Minter · 4 HN comments
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Amazon 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.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
If you're interested in this topic I highly recommend Adam Minter as better source on this stuff. He adopts a strictly economic perspective on the recycling trade which makes way more sense.

https://www.amazon.com/Junkyard-Planet-Travels-Billion-Dolla...

If you're truly interested in the economics of the waste industry, the book Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter was a good introduction: https://www.amazon.com/Junkyard-Planet-Travels-Billion-Dolla...
Interesting link. Another link!

This to a book that enlightened me to the chaotic world of globalised recycling: Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter. https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/1608197913

If anyone is interested in the aspects of reuse and recycle touched on in this article, I highly recommend Junkyard Plant, a book about recycling largely but not exclusively focused on China. There are a couple of chapters on electronics and Shenzhen, as well as other chapters ranging from paper & cotton, steel, plastics, aluminium, etc, and the entire sourcing chain.

http://www.amazon.com/Junkyard-Planet-Travels-Billion-Dollar...

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