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    collecting global garbage

    Source : http://www.economist.com/node/21542395

    January 7th 2012

    Collecting global garbage

    Local efforts against litter are mushrooming

    “GARBOLOGY” is a word popularised (and possibly coined) by A.J. Weberman, a writer and activist whose credo was “you are what you throw away”. He made his name by rifling through Bob Dylan’s rubbish in search of insights into the singer’s soul, only to conclude—after trawling through used nappies, ripped-up fan mail and veterinary bills—that the fabled crooner was a pampered, middle-class family man, even in his heyday.

    Mr Weberman might have taken his theory a step further. Habits in picking up litter say a lot about places and their people. On January 13th volunteers from 83 countries will converge on the Estonian capital, Tallinn, to launch World Cleanup 2012, the biggest attempt so far at voluntary rubbish collection. This year’s target is to mobilise 300m people to pick up 100m tonnes of illegally dumped waste in six months, starting on March 24th.

    The moving spirit behind the campaign is Rainer Nolvak, a high-tech entrepreneur who has devoted himself to a worldwide blitz on trash (a co-founder is one of the Estonians behind Skype, an internet telephony system). Instead of bonding together in the face of war or of sporting rivalry, Mr Nolvak wants people to unite against the “common enemy” of garbage.

    Estonia has a tradition of volunteer efforts aimed at cleaning up the blight of illegal rubbish dumping in public spaces (part of a legacy of environmental abuse during the Soviet occupation era). In 2008, 50,000 Estonians turned out and collected 10,000 tonnes of trash in less than a day. By 2009 similar events in neighbouring Lithuania and Latvia were mustering 120,000 litterpickers. In 2010 a cleanup effort in Slovenia brought out an estimated 270,000 people, or more than one-eighth of the country’s population. An organiser of that effort, Nara Petrovic, says the depressing political and economic climate had a galvanising effect. The cleanup fostered “a spirit of unity that swept over the entire country”.

    MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING WORDS:

    Global = all over the world

    Litter = rubbish = waste = trash = garbage = synonyms/ about the same meaning

    To mushroom = to multiply

    Crooner/ entertainer who croons/to croon = to sing

    In his heyday = the time of greatest success

    Blight = a state of disorder and decay

    To muster = to gather

    To have a galvanizing effect = to lead someone into sudden action

    To foster = to encourage

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    January 7, 2012 par admin
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