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Mt. Trashmore: This Place Is A Dump

Thu, Oct 7, 2010

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Mt. Trashmore/ Courtesy Flora Thomson-DeVeaux

Intern Flora Thomson-DeVeaux grew up in a home where there was a lot of trash talk.

Her mom, Vivian Thomson, is an expert on trash. She even wrote a book on the subject: Garbage In, Garbage Out: Solving the Problems with Long-Distance Trash Transport. As a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, Vivian Thomson shared her enthusiasm on family vacations, chasing after trash trucks in Toledo, Spain, and visiting “El Dompe” landfill in Panama.

So it’s not too surprising that on a recent trip to Miami, Flora’s mom skipped the mojitos and made tracks for “Mt. Trashmore,” a series of garbage mounds in southern Miami-Dade County known officially as the South Dade Landfill.

In this piece, Flora takes us along on a visit to Mt. Trashmore. You’ll learn about the strange stuff we throw away (including a dead killer whale), how landfills are like museums, and what trash says about us.

You’ll also discover the unlikely charm of Mt. Trashmore as a tourism destination, and learn about plans to turn trash into electricity.

Related links: Click here to read Flora’s “Five Questions” segment, put to her mom, and learn why trash collectors are better at predicting economic trends than finance ministers!

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