Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter
This is a fascinating look at what happens to clothes, furniture, and other household items donated to Goodwill, to recycled laptops and televisions, and even what becomes of vehicles totaled after an accident. Journalist Adam Minter follows these items around the globe, starting with home cleanout services in Minnesota and Japan. He travels to Vermont, Toronto, Arizona, Mexico, west Africa and Asia. Many products cross borders and oceans to be repaired, resold, or repurposed. Damaged American cars and trucks are packed with needed repair parts, put on a cargo ship in New England, and repaired in West Africa, often sold and smuggled into Nigeria. The durability of clothes is decreasing, making it harder to repurpose, and some electronics are deliberately made difficult to repair. This well-researched book makes for compelling, thought-provoking reading.