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'Junkyard Planet' traces our trash's epic journey around the world

Junkyard planet


Cover of Adam Minter's book, "Junkyard Planet."

When you drop a piece of paper or a used plastic bottle into that recycle bin, where does it actually go? The answer: It depends.

Our trash, whether it's an old car, Christmas lights or newspaper, may travel the world before it becomes something new.

Author Adam Minter knows this all too well. Growing up, his family owned a scrap yard in Minneapolis. He's taken the lesson he learned there into his journalism work, and in his latest book, "Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade." 

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