Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago

Front Cover
MIT Press, Sep 17, 2004 - Nature - 256 pages
3 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago

User Review  - Sara - Goodreads

There were a lot of really good ideas and threads in this book. Definitely thought provoking and challenging. But the writing was a little rough - the concepts weren't tied together or reinforced as ... Read full review

Review: Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago

User Review  - Dan Sharber - Goodreads

this book is just ok. it is clearly someone's graduate dissertation. the first chapter is all on method and framework which i found tedious - it would've made a better preface. the stories though were ... Read full review


Waste Politics and Environmental Injustice
A Social History of Waste Race and Labor Part I Movements Technology and Politics 1880s1930s
A Social History of Waste Race and Labor Part II Waste Management and Waste Conflicts 1940s2000
The Movement for Environmental Justice in Chicago and the United States
Working for the Movement Recycling Labor at the Resource Center
The Next Evolutionary Stage Recycling Waste or Recycling History?
Toward Environmental Justice
The Principles of Environmental Justice

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information