“Garbage hills are alive,” Robert Sullivan writes in the travelogue of his explorations along the waste dumps outside Manhattan: “there are billions of microscopic organisms thriving underground in dark, oxygen-free communities” (2006, 96). After metabolizing the trash of New Jersey or New York, these cells will “exhale huge underground plumes of carbon dioxide and of warm moist methane” (2006, 96), soaking through the ground or crawling up into the atmosphere, where they will eventually compost the ozone layer.

This essay may be found on page 167 of the printed volume.

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