The Hidden Life of Garbage Revealed in Minidocumentary (Video)

garbage dump image

Screenshot via Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

Around 23% of the solid waste going to US landfills could be composted. Only around 11% of electronics are recycled...the rest heading to landfill. Except, there is no "away" - MIT has illustrated this vividly, and so has the Great Pacific Garbage Patch So what's the deal with dumps, then, if so much can be diverted? Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage is a mini documentary exploring dumps and our trashy habits, and shows some of the fascinating evolution behind the modern landfill, including how machinery took over dumps and changed the way we deal with trash - not necessarily for the better. Check out the evolution of garbage in the US in this short minidocumentary.

While the video is three years old, the issues raised in it have changed little. For example, take this quote from one of the interviewees:

"[Landfills] actually represent the success of capitalism. The extent to which profit has been successfully achieved is the extent to which we have garbage to put in the landfill. But we also have to think of the making the products that were specifically designed to wear out faster than they needed to. What else could we have done with that time?...What kind of society could we have?"

These are some hefty questions and this incredible documentary doesn't let trash slide off into a hole in the ground where it can be forgotten. It'll get us all thinking more about what we put in our garbage bins.

Follow Jaymi on Twitter: @JaymiHeimbuch
More on Trashy Thinking
Secrets of the San Francisco Dump
Green Eyes On: What Really Happens in a Landfill
Fresh Photos of Fresh Kills: A Landfill Transformed

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