Beijing Garbage provides a “snapshot” of the municipal solid waste (MSW) situation in Beijing, based primarily on three months of fieldwork conducted by Stefan Landsberger during the spring of 2017. Although data for the book is limited, Landsberger brings together literature from different social science disciplines on an array of topics that are helpful for contextualizing garbage problems in China. The main themes of the study are issues related to sorting household garbage, a set of new recycling companies that use online platforms, and the state's push to deal with MSW through incineration. Landsberger demonstrates that despite education campaigns and other initiatives, Beijingers do not sort and recycle their garbage well, which makes the incineration of garbage more polluting. His main recommendation is for the government to “adopt a system of rewards and penalties” to spur behavior changes (p. 183).

Jumping into the middle, in chapter 5, Landsberger describes a...

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