cover of book

Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage
by William Rathje and Cullen Murphy
University of Arizona Press, 2001
eISBN: 978-0-8165-3876-8 | Paper: 978-0-8165-2143-2
Library of Congress Classification TD793.3.R38 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.728097471

It is from the discards of former civilizations that archaeologists have reconstructed most of what we know about the past, and it is through their examination of today’s garbage that William Rathje and Cullen Murphy inform us of our present. Rubbish! is their witty and erudite investigation into all aspects of the phenomenon of garbage. Rathje and Murphy show what the study of garbage tells us about a population’s demographics and buying habits. Along the way, they dispel the common myths about our “garbage crisis”—about fast-food packaging and disposable diapers, about biodegradable garbage and the acceleration of the average family’s garbage output. They also suggest methods for dealing with the garbage that we do have.

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