Tag Archives | garbology

William Rathje (1945-2012)

William L. Rathje (PhD Harvard 1971), professor emeritus of archaeology at the University of Arizona, studied rubbish as an insight into human behaviour. “The only way to know a person is by what they throw away”, he has repeatedly said. Jeff Harrison has written a comprehensive tribute for Univ. of Arizona News (see here).

When I was an undergraduate the Bruntland Report Our Common Future (1987, OUP) was high on the reading list of many courses and most of the world’s leaders had just come back from the Rio Summit. Agenda 21 was on everyone’s lips. It was a time when many of us really felt, perhaps naively, that global attitudes towards pollution and waste were actually changing.

At the time, one of my friends was doing his dissertation on junk mail and he proudly carried around one of his library finds, Rathje’s books, something with ‘Garbology’ in the title.…

Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes