Do you know what Garbology means?

The study of a community or culture by analyzing its waste.

Clark College’s Common Read program is a special campus-wide project that incorporates the book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, into the curriculum.

Humes explores America’s biggest export, trash, calling it our “most prodigious product and greatest legacy,” what we are leaving behind for our descendants to deal with. Americans make more trash than any other country or group on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day, 365 days a year totally 102 tons of trash in a lifetime. This represents 50% more garbage per person than other Western economies.

He follows garbage from its rise in history from “taking out the trash” to hoarding (mental illness) to technology (technology created it, now technology can deal with it) to landfills and transporting garbage beyond our shores to other countries to deal with. Garbage has become an industry and economy of its own design.

The Common Read project featuring Garbology begins here with this site for faculty and staff to understand how to incorporate the book into their classrooms and across the campus.

Here is how it works:

  1. Participate on this site to learn more about the book and the topic
  2. Share how you are integrating the book into your classroom and help others to do so, too
  3. Attend workshops and training sessions on Garbology topics, and encourage students to participate
  4. Share resources, references, news, and information on garbology
  5. Attend the Clark College Garbology Book Club meetings on Friday from 12-1:30PM at the Library (dates below)

There will be regular dicussions posted on the site for you to participate in. If you use a feed reader, you may add the site feed to your feed reader. If you would like an email notification when someone has added a new post,

Clark College Garbology Book club

The Clark College Garbology Book Club will meet on Fridays from 12-1:30PM in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students.

Dates are:

  • Oct. 17
  • Nov. 21
  • Jan. 16
  • Feb. 20
  • April 17
  • May 15