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Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade Hardcover – November 12, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 189 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade
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  • Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale
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  • Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Growing up as the son of a scrap dealer in Minneapolis, Minter learned firsthand that one man's trash is truly another man's treasure. In his first book, the Shanghai-based journalist charts the globalization of the recycling trade, focusing on the U.S. and China, and featuring a cast that ranges from self-made scrap-metal tycoons to late-night garbage pickers. Notable passages include a trip to Wen'an, one of China's most notoriously polluted plants where employees process hazardous materials while wearing sandals. Minter successfully resists oversimplifying the issue China currently faces—with a growing middle class demanding more raw materials for new construction, the options are living with the pollution caused by recycling or the environmental consequences of mining for raw materials. Minter takes readers through the Shanghai market where parts are harvested from second-hand electronics, but finds that the more complex the technology, the harder it is to reuse the metals. The scrap trade is one of the few business ventures possible in the developing world and this profession for outsiders shows no signs of slowing down. Minter concludes that the solution is in the first word in the phrase, Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. 2 16-page color inserts. (Nov.)

From Booklist

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the typical sentiment of even the most meticulous recycler who doesn’t really think about where those carefully sorted cans, bottles, magazines and newspapers go after they’ve been picked up curbside. From big screen TVs to the tiniest of Christmas tree lights, there’s a world of trash—or, in the parlance, scrap—out there. And lest one think that it all ends up in a landfill for future archaeologists to ponder, Minter is here to tell you that there’s big money to be made in what American consumers and industries throw away. As he travels the world from Houston to Guangzhou, surveying the debris and discards that fill scrap yards and warehouses, Minter takes the reader into a world of commodities trading that is every bit as lucrative and cutthroat as anything on Wall Street. The son of a scrap man, Minter brings an insider’s knowledge and appreciation for an industry that no one thinks about, everyone contributes to, and a lucky few profit from. --Carol Haggas

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
189 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2014
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Top international reviews

M Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Will Teach you more about globalisation and Chinese economics than any other book
Reviewed in Germany on May 12, 2018
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Gregory B Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story About The World Wide Recycling Industry
Reviewed in Canada on March 22, 2014
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dr. E.C. Kosters
5.0 out of 5 stars Your smartphone and the world economy
Reviewed in Canada on July 6, 2014
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RH
5.0 out of 5 stars an eye opening read - true edutainment on a subject most ignore although it concerns everyone!
Reviewed in Germany on February 6, 2015
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Gopal reddy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read if you are in Scrap Trade.
Reviewed in India on February 1, 2020
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Notsoamazon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on August 12, 2016
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Robert Guertin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Reviewed in Canada on May 29, 2014
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Dmitry Kovalenko
5.0 out of 5 stars Sehr informativ!
Reviewed in Germany on September 18, 2014
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C. H. Lockhart Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in Australia on October 5, 2014
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Jules
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting journey through the world of recycling. Following ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 19, 2017
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