In his or her lifetime, each American will produce 102 tons of trash. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes explores the vast implications of that in “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash,” the 2014-15 common reading book at Washington State University.Humes’ book explores the history of things Americans have pushed to the curb and how garbage came to be our biggest export. The reader meets the people dealing with that fact — from trash-tracking detectives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to sanitation workers at Garbage Mountain landfill in Los Angeles. He also explores how families and nations are finding new ways to be resourceful. One American family has found a way to reduce their yearly trash output to a single mason jar.
Each year WSU selects one book for all freshmen to read. Special events and public presentations will take place throughout the coming school year.