How China Profits From Our Junk
China’s reputation as the “world’s factory” is well-established. But what happens to everything the world throws away? Since 2002, the Shanghai-based journalist Adam Minter has sought to find out. The son and grandson of scrap metalists, Minter traveled throughout the world to investigate how what we discard—and reuse—helps drive the global economy.
Minter, who has written for a variety of publications (including both the print and digital versions of The Atlantic), now writes a weekly column on China for Bloomberg. In this excerpt from his forthcoming book Junkyard Planet, which will be published by Bloomsbury Press on November 12, Minter travels to the epicenter of the global scrape trade: southern China.