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Where Does Garbage Go?

by Claire Eamer
illustrated by Bambi Edlund

Green Book Festival Award, Second Place Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Skipping Stones Honor Award Science Communication Award, American Institute of Physics Canadian Children’s Literature Roundtables Information Book Awards finalist Youth Science Book Award finalist, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada Silver Birch Award nomination, Ontario Library Association American Association for the Advancement of Science SB&F Prize nomination Red Cedar Book Award nomination

Hold your nose!

Yes, garbage is disgusting, but it’s also fascinating. Piles of garbage dating back to prehistory reveal how people lived, what they ate, and how they prepared their food. But garbage is also a problem. From leaving it in ancient caves to dumping it at the very edge of space, people have always had the challenge of what to do with it. And now that challenge has reached epic proportions as the world runs out of places to throw garbage away.

What a Waste! delves into the weird and fascinating world of garbage, covering topics like water pollution, modern “throwaway” culture, landfills, human waste, and recycling. The highly visual treatment with lots of sidebars and humorous illustrations makes this an engaging, kid-friendly introduction to an important issue.

Readers will find answers to questions like: Why is there so much garbage? What are the different kinds of garbage? Are some worse than others?, and Is there still time to clean up the mess? Fortunately, the answer is yes—and this book looks at the efforts being made around the world to do so.


“Laid out in easy-to-read sections with plenty of colorful illustrations, this slim volume is readable yet comprehensive.”
—School Library Journal, 03/17

“A smart overall survey sprinkled with choice nuggets of garbage lore. Dig in.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 02/01/17

“This empowering read will motivate kids to think about a problem very close at hand and to dream up possible solutions for the future.”
—Booklist Online, 03/17/27

“This thorough overview of waste provides a great introduction to the topic and offers other resources and a great bibliography for follow up reading. Bambi Edmund’s humorous and engaging drawings will draw in the grades 4-6 readers, as will the sidebars of ‘smart ideas’, ‘cool facts’ and ‘trash talk’ and the constant flow of topics.”
—Green Teacher, Summer/18