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Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago [Paperback]

David Naguib Pellow

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Book Description

Sept. 17 2004 Urban and Industrial Environments

In Garbage Wars, the sociologist David Pellow describes the politics of garbage in Chicago. He shows how garbage affects residents in vulnerable communities and poses health risks to those who dispose of it. He follows the trash, the pollution, the hazards, and the people who encountered them in the period 1880-2000. What unfolds is a tug of war among social movements, government, and industry over how we manage our waste, who benefits, and who pays the costs.Studies demonstrate that minority and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards. Pellow analyzes how and why environmental inequalities are created. He also explains how class and racial politics have influenced the waste industry throughout the history of Chicago and the United States. After examining the roles of social movements and workers in defining, resisting, and shaping garbage disposal in the United States, he concludes that some environmental groups and people of color have actually contributed to environmental inequality.By highlighting conflicts over waste dumping, incineration, landfills, and recycling, Pellow provides a historical view of the garbage industry throughout the life cycle of waste. Although his focus is on Chicago, he places the trends and conflicts in a broader context, describing how communities throughout the United States have resisted the waste industry's efforts to locate hazardous facilities in their backyards. The book closes with suggestions for how communities can work more effectively for environmental justice and safe, sustainable waste management.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (Sept. 17 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026266187X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262661874
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,971,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With more landfills per square mile than any other American city, Chicago has had some particularly colorful controversies over waste disposal over the last century. University of Colorado-Boulder sociology professor David Naguib Pellow traces these conflicts in Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago, examining how poor neighborhoods come to be burdened with a disproportionate amount of pollution and refuse. He offers background on Chicago's waste management from the 1880s to the present, focusing in particular on the struggle for environmental justice of the last two decades, and shows how "environmentally friendly" technologies like recycling plants and waste-to-energy incinerators actually end up adding to the pollution in poor neighborhoods.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"...insightfully assesses the ability of those at the bottom of the heap to mount an effective resistance for environmental justice." Jack Smith Environment



"...An indispensable book for anyone interested in waste...or the continued effects of racism and classism in American society." Elizabeth D. Blum The Public Historian


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting, but don't let this be your only guide Nov. 5 2007
By Fiona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I came across this book while doing research on community-based organizations and the environment in Chicago. It's very informative because it gives a historical overview of Chicago's waste management, and because it gets into the nitty-gritty of conflicts within nonprofits in Chicago. There were a couple places though where I had to raise my eyebrow because the analysis seemed a little suspect. For example, the author uses cases of illegal dumping in Chicago to show how minority groups may be more concerned with recycling and the environment than is often thought in mainstream environmental organizations. It seems a little strange to equate recycling centers, and companies that only call themselves recyclers but are actually illegal dumpers.
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking book. Sept. 13 2013
By Marijke van Roojen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Do you know what happens to your own garbage? Who has to deal with you waste? Recycling? Interesting history of racial discrimination that harms so many of our communities from the perspective of what happens with our garbage. What an eye opening book!

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