No time to waste

Illustrating the reality of the waste and resources industry to those outside the sector has always been tricky. But with Adam Minter’s book Junkyard Planet flying off the shelves, it seems things could be about to change.  Annie Reece finds out more

This article was taken from Issue 76

Those of you who read Bloomberg’s ‘World View’, or have ever picked up a copy of Scrap magazine or Recycling International, may be familiar with the work of journalist Adam Minter. Raised in the industry (his family owned a scrap metal business in Minneapolis), Minter is no stranger to the weird and wonderful ways of the waste and resources sector, and his experience as an observer of the Chinese scrap metal industry is arguably second to none. 

Having arrived in China in 2002 for a freelance job (and, soon after, immigrating to the country), Minter was given unprecedented press access to several Chinese scrapyards, and the people who spend their lives working in them. It is the mixture of his memories and experiences of the people he’s met in this fascinating sector, along with a first-hand insight into the inner workings of the industry itself, that give his first book, Junkyard Planet (reviewed on p. 55), such widespread appeal.