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The formal study of society’s waste
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This particular type of archeologist makes it his or her job to "investigate human behavior `from the back end', as it were" (14), because the garbologist believes that unlike most artifacts that cultures leave behind that are "little more than self-aggrandizing advertisements," garbage is "a kind of tattle-tale, setting the record straight" (12).
Similarly driven to expose something essential about who we are, as we shall discuss later in fuller detail, let it only be established at this time that Ammons poses as a garbologist, drawn to the things we cast off as opposed to our written records about ourselves.
"Garbologists" - people who do what Burton does and then publish research papers about it - say people harbor a lot of misconceptions about how much they consume, throw out and recycle.
The three items combined actually consume less than 3 percent of landfill volume, according to analysis by the garbologists.
Most people are simply unaware of what they use or discard, as UA "garbologists" have known since the 1970s.
It doesn't store well and the garbologists aren't fond of finding 4x8 sheets on the curb next to your trash can.