Garbology Assignment Instructions

Rathje, William. 1992. "From Tucson to Armenia: The First Principle of Waste." Garbage, Mar/Apr, Vol. 4 Issue 2.  (Available on the W: drive).

During one entire day (one standard Earth rotational 24-hour period), keep track of everything you throw away and/or recycle. Then, use the on-line submittal form to address the following questions:

  1. What does your daily garbage reveal about who you are? In other words, would a garbage anthropologist ("garbologist") be able to identify your nationality, gender, religion, income, educational level, etc. from the amount and kinds of trash you produce?  How or why not?
  2. How does your daily garbage reflect the environmental values you hold?
  3. How does the amount and kind of trash you produce compare with that of your parents (neighbors, children)? Do you share the same environmental values with these people?  How do you know?
  4. Do you feel it would be possible to reduce the amount of garbage you produce? What kind of lifestyle changes would be necessary?

Grading: 50 Points

  • For full credit, you MUST NOT go over 200 words per answer.
  • 10 points each for creative, serious, thoughtful, university-level commentary addressing questions 1-4 above.  Demonstration of standard, university-level English and technical writing skills is expected.  10 bonus points for properly filling in all requested information blocks and submitting your form on time.


  1. Submit your completed project via the online submittal form.
  2. Address questions 1-4 above in the text boxes provided.
  3. Do not go over 200 words, do not pass go.
  4. If you wish to, you can compose your answers in Word and cut and paste them into the text boxes provided on the on-line submittal form.  (If you want to do this but don't know how call the CNS helpdesk at 836-5711).
  5. Due Date: see important dates to remember page







Subject to change without notice

Last updated 03 May 02

Created by Don Porschien

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