Adam Minter

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Adam Minter is a columnist at Bloomberg Opinion where he writes about China, technology, and the environment. He is the author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade, a critically-acclaimed bestselling insider’s account of the hidden world of globalized recycling, and the forthcoming Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.

Adam has covered the global recycling industry for almost two decades. In 2002, he began a series of groundbreaking investigative pieces on China’s emerging recycling industries for Scrap and Recycling International. Since then, he has been cited, quoted, and interviewed on recycling and waste by a range of international media, most recently The New York Times, Vice, NPR, BBC, The
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Average rating: 3.96 · 1,873 ratings · 353 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Junkyard Planet: Travels in...

3.89 avg rating — 1,197 ratings — published 2013 — 6 editions
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Secondhand: Travels in the ...

4.07 avg rating — 676 ratings — published 2019 — 4 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

How we think about e-waste is in need of repair.

Below, a pic I took a few weeks ago in Hauqiangbei, a commercial district in Shenzhen, China. It’s the beating heart of the global electronics industry, the world’s most important marketplace for everything electronic– phones, computers, playable piano keyboards that … Continue reading Read more of this blog post »
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Published on July 13, 2016 21:36

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Adam Minter rated a book it was amazing
The Scientist and the Spy by Mara Hvistendahl
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Secondhand by Adam Minter
"I really enjoyed this book and it’s caused me to rethink what I buy and what I donate to Good Will (I now vow to to donate more because others can better use things I am not using and otherwise letting clutter up my place). Adam Minter is a great..." Read more of this review »
Adam Minter is now following Emilie Shumway's reviews
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Adam Minter wants to read
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
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A Floating Chinaman by Hua Hsu
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See A Little Light by Bob Mould
"Come for the punk rock stories. Stay for the big hairy gay dudes."
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In Manchuria by Michael Meyer
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Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang
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Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason
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More of Adam's books…
“Recycling is better--I won't write "good"--for the environment. But without economics--without supply and demand of raw materials--recycling is nothing more than a meaningless exercise in glorifying garbage. No doubt it's better than throwing something into an incinerator, and worse than fixing something that can be refurbished. It's what you do if you can't bear to see something landfilled. Placing a box or a can or a bottle in a recycling bin doesn't mean you've recycled anything, and it doesn't make you a better, greener person: it just means you've outsourced your problem. Sometimes that outsourcing is near home; and sometimes it's overseas. But wherever it goes, the global market and demand for raw materials is the ultimate arbiter.

Fortunately, if that realization leaves you feeling bad, there's always the alternative: stop buying so much crap in the first place. (269)”
Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

“In fact, Wen'an was the prefect location for the scrap-plastics trace: it was close, but not too close, to Beijing and Tianjin, two massive metropolises with lots of consumers and lots of factories in need of cheap raw materials. Even better, its traditional industry - farming - was disappearing as the region's once-plentiful streams and wells were run dry by the region's rampant, unregulated oil industry. So land was plentiful, and so were laborers desperate for a wage to replace the money lost when their fields died. As I hear these stories, I can't help but wonder: How much of the plastic that Wen'an recycles was made from the oil pumped from Wen'an's soil? Are all those old plastic bags blowing down Wen'an's streets ghosts of the fuel that used to run beneath them?”
Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

“Placing a box or a can or a bottle in a recycling bin doesn’t mean you’ve recycled anything, and it doesn’t make you a better, greener person: it just means you’ve outsourced your problem. Sometimes that outsourcing is near home; and sometimes it’s overseas. But wherever it goes, the global market and demand for raw materials is the ultimate arbiter. Fortunately, if that realization leaves you feeling bad, there’s always the alternative: stop buying so much crap in the first place.”
Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

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