NJ Waste Mapper Theme screenshot, 2017

NJ Waste Mapper Theme screenshot, 2017

Garbage in the garden State

New Jersey faces endless solid waste stereotypes. Many in the rest of the US would have you believe that Jersey's main value is as a dumping site for New York, Philadelphia, and shore tourists.  But this project, building on a broad base of unexamined archival sources and extensive interviews with key figures in waste management during the past 50 years reveals a more profound truth. New Jersey towns, counties, courts, and companies have been shaping waste management processes across the US for decades.  

In addition to developing a scholarly book, the Garbage in the Garden State project aims to utilize the capabilities of Rowan University's NJ MAP project to visualize over three decades of waste and recycling tonnage data. By mapping quantitative waste and recycling figures alongside other ecological, land use, and demographic data, users will be able to explore trends in New Jersey's waste management history as they have changed over time and space.  

Garbage in the Garden State is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Science, Technology & Society Program. You can read more about my work through NSF on the official award page (Award # 1733924)

Download an overview presentation about the project here.

Access and article about the quantitative data, as well as the dataset itself, here: Howell, Jordan P., Katherine Schmidt, Brooke Iacone, Giavanni Rizzo, and Christina Parrilla. “New Jersey’s Solid Waste and Recycling Tonnage Data: Retrospect and Prospect”. Heliyon. [Datasest “New Jersey's Waste and Recycling Data: 1993-2016”, Mendeley Data, v2; http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/7yc4c3pmtp.2 ]