Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Non-Fiction Picture Book - Alarming!

art by Sarah S. Brannen
         Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  
        In this book, Meghan McCarthy offers a great way to start a study of trash: our trash at home, in the workplace, in public places. It's everywhere! This time, in 1987, it's a story of a New York landfill that was almost out of room to add more trash and a businessman named Lowell Harrelson. He heard about the problem, wanted to help and then rented a barge and a tugboat to tow it in order to fill it with trash to alleviate the landfill's problem. He had a grand design to use the methane gas emitted from the decomposed trash to power a generator, thus to make electricity. 
       Unfortunately, after traveling five months and being rejected not only by several states, starting with North Carolina, and several Caribbean countries, this journey ended up right back home. It gained popularity during this unrequited voyage - quotes from popular news anchors are given, Greenpeace used it to make a statement. Finally, the blockage of this barge was lifted and piece by piece, the trash was burned, ash deposited. In the 'extra' information, McCarthy tells that small packets of the trash (before burning) were sold as souvenirs and one bale was saved by the Department of Transportation. 
       I recently spent time at my condo in the mountains and my son-in-law and I took some trash to their dump. It seemed to be well-organized, had signs to show where to go with a particular kind of trash. AND, as we left, we drove by the huge re-cycling center. If you want to know what a "bale" looks like, and how much re-cycling is done in only one mountain county in a sparsely populated area (compared to a city), I took pictures. Wow! I didn't even take them of all we saw.
aluminum on the left, fabric stuff at the right near the wall



        Glass evidently ends up somewhere else!

       There's more to this story in the backmatter along with "garbage barge facts", Recycling Facts, Garbage Facts and Ocean Garbage Facts. Also, there are pictures of creative ways to "re-use" trash plus a selected bibliography.
        We certainly do have a lot of stuff!


  1. It's crazy how much waste we put out there. And it's not like they magically disappear. What an interesting field trip.

    1. Don't know if you're referring to the book's trip or mine, but both are certainly illuminating. Thanks, Earl!

  2. This book is even now sitting in my stack at home but sadly still unread. Now I'm eager to remedy that. Thanks!

    1. Great, glad you have it, Annette. It's an intriguing story.

  3. Thanks for reminding me - I want to read this book in the next couple of weeks with classes!
    Thanks for including the photos, it is amazing to see and really makes you think about what you use...

    1. Terrific, it is quite a story. Glad I took the pictures, too, and it makes me wonder what Denver's recycling looks like!


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